Student group buzzes hair for cancer in annual event

Buzzing 4 Change held its annual event Sunday attracting nearly 200 participants to buzz or cut their hair for charity.

The event raised an estimated $15,000 to promote awareness for cancer, organizers said. Although the event was moved from Kogan Plaza to Marvin Center Continental Ballroom due to rain, it still received support not only from GW students, but also from other area residents.

Formatted similar to a walk-a-thon, students can either recruit sponsors and buzz or cut their hair once they have raised a certain amount of money, or they can register and participate the day of the event.

Profits are going to Special Love, a camp in Virginia for children with cancer. The hair is donated to Locks of Love, an organization that makes wigs for children suffering from hair loss due to cancer or other diseases. The event featured food, live music and a special visit from the campers at Special Love.

Started as a student organization at GW in 2002, Buzzing 4 Change also recently became a nonprofit organization based in Philadelphia through the efforts of founder and 2006 graduate Judah Ferst and several of the original board members. The B4C foundation is now looking to expand to other colleges by 2008.

Ferst said about eight universities have shown interest in starting their own programs and have requested applications. “We hope that each Buzzing chapter will become an independent, unique force on its campus that will find its own charity to donate to that improves the lives of pediatric cancer patients,” said Josh Kiss, the event coordinator.

Freshman Connie Golding donated about eight inches of her hair, even though she was nervous waiting in line for the haircut.

“It’s encouraging that people around you are doing it as well,” she said. “If my hair grows back in time, I’d consider doing it next year again.”

The organization, while still happy to shave heads, changed its focus this year away from buzzing and towards raising awareness.

“This year we decided to focus less on the act of shaving one’s head and more on the real purpose, which is raising money for kids with cancer,” Kiss said.

“It doesn’t look good,” said Katie Shaw of Goucher College in Baltimore, after donating a foot of her hair. “But I didn’t do it so it would look good; I did it for the cause.”

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