Students buzz heads for charity

A lot of GW students got a haircut this weekend.

Buzzing for Change, an event that raises money to send children with cancer to summer camps, held its third annual head-shaving event Sunday in Kogan Plaza where $13,500 was raised and 247 students either got hair cuts or buzzes to raise money – and hair – for charity.

Senior Sarah Greenwood, co-president of Buzzing for Change, said all the money raised goes to Special Love, an organization in Virginia that sponsors camps for children with cancer

2005 GW graduate Judah Ferst began Buzzing for Change three years ago in memory of his mother, who died eight years ago of cancer. On Sunday 186 students shaved their heads, a 20-person increase from last year.

If a student’s hair is more than six inches long, it is donated to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces for children who have lost their hair due to illness. This year, 61 students cut their hair for Locks of Love, 19 more people that last year’s total.

Ferst said students shave their heads to “show solidarity with cancer patients.” Students are sponsored by friends and family to raise money for shaving their heads, “sort of like a walk-a-thon,” he said.

Last year the event raised $23,100, and while this year $13,500 was raised, organizers expect more money to come in this week as students’ and participants’ families make contributions after the event via online donations.

Junior Michael Gonen said he came to college with hair down to his waist, but his freshman year he shaved it off and has done so every year thereafter.

“I donated two feet and shaved the rest,” Gonen said. “I miss the head banging.”

Junior Sara Sherwood, who donated her hair, pointed out that she was “the first girl today.”

“It’s just hair,” Sherwood said, “and it will grow back.”

For the last three years, Buzzing for Change organizers have been attempting to break the world record for most heads shaved in a four-hour period. The record is set at 228, with five barbers.

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