As students, faculty and community members walked to the giant barber pole next to Lincoln Park early in the morning on Sept. 14, there was one thing on their minds; hair.
Colleges Against Cancer hosted the St. Baldrick’s event, inviting Pacific community members to donate some or all of their hair to cancer patients, or just to simply come and show their support for others in the fight against cancer.
One of CAC’s members, Claire Ramaley, played a large role in planning the event, stemming from an idea that she brought to the club’s attention at the end of last school year.
“We were concerned that no one would show up to the event, because it was so out of the way,” said Ramaley. “ And we also weren’t sure how we were going to get power all the way out to the barber pole.”
But despite these concerns, the club was satisfied with the turnout; the ending result was a total collection of 23 feet of hair thanks to the help of volunteers from local salon, Absolute Boutique.
Ramaley had considered giving up all of her hair as the event was getting closer but in the end, just decided to donate a portion of it.
“I was so impressed by everyone that shaved their heads,” said Ramaley. “They’re much braver than I am!”
One of these brave souls that parted ways with all their hair was junior Marlowe Emmons.
“I just kind of let things happen,” said Emmons when asked if she had any second thoughts about her donation.
Part of Emmons’ decision was the personal connection she has with the fight against cancer. Her grandmother died of brain cancer in 2008.
Ramaley, however, had other reasons for her dedication to the cause.
“Cancer is something that has affected everyone, unfortunately,” she explained. “I had been blessed not to have really any personal connections to cancer before joining CAC. Now that I’ve been involved for 3 years, I have met so many people affected by cancer, and have heard so many amazing stories that I’m hooked, and can’t imagine not wanting to fight the fight against cancer.”
And this is exactly what Ramaley has been doing alongside the club since she joined during her freshman year. In the two and a half years she has been involved, she has seen the club’s membership increase from four regular members to 15 or more.
The increase in membership has allowed CAC to achieve greater goals in terms of events and their fundraising. In her freshman year, Ramaley remembers holding only one event in the club, which was Relay for Life. The relay lasted a mere hour and a half, producing $300 in fundraising.
Last year, Relay for Life was much different; lasting five hours with more than 200 attendees and raising $5,000.
“We went from holding one event, to three or four per year, and we’ve grown internally as a club as well,” continued Ramaley. “We have such a dedicated group of awesome people, it’s been amazing to see what we can do, and continue to do.”
To be a part of CAC’s mission, attend their upcoming fundraisers at Pizza Schmizza on Oct. 14 and the annual event, Boob Bingo on Oct. 15.