Amid cheers of ''Cut it! Cut it!'' from the entire student body, Howland Middle School health teacher Becky Pekarovic finally cut the ponytail from the head of school janitor Ted Bronson.
Pekarovic led the chant after students raised nearly double their goal of $10,000 for the Children's Rehabilitation Hospital. At the end of the two week fundraising period, students had raised $19,835.
''There are lot of awesome things you have done, but remember, the main reason you've done all this is for the children,'' said school principal Kevin Spicher.
Howland Community News / Kathleen Evanoff
Students at Howland Middle School presented a check recently to Children’s Rehabilitation Center following a two-week fundraiser they held last month. Pictured front row, from left, are Nicole Gula, Bailey Pontikos, Kyle Fenton, Brooke Kulusich and Elle Hendricks. Second row from left are: Bob Foster Executive Director Children’s Rehabilitation Center, Kody Elsaye, Oksana Chester, Maha Hamad, Reilly Berk, Kara Rushin and Katie LaRose. Back row, from left, are Alexis Cunningham, Brennan White and Collin Macaulay.
The ponytail cut from Bronson will be donated to Locks of Love, a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada younger than age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.
''I've been doing this for about a dozen years,'' Bronson said. ''I've always had long hair, but figured it will grow back, so I might as well donate it once in a while.''
Pekarovic led the pep-rally type assembly in the school gymnasium by encouraging students to shout encouragement to Bronson. At one point, she pulled a pair of gardening shears out of a bag and waved them in the air, but when the time came, a simple pair of scissors did the job.
Bronson's ponytail measured well more than the required 10-inches for the charity.
Students held several fundraising activities over the two-week period including a dodgeball tournament, bake sale. The grade that raised the most money was treated to a skating party.
In addition to the hair cutting event, two drawings were held for an iPod and an iPad.
To end the assembly, students Eric Richard and Olivia D'Andrea sang ''We Are the World,'' to the student body from the stage. Words and credits were shown on a large screen on the stage and students were encouraged to sing along.
A few days after the assemble, students were able to present the check to Children's Rehabilitation executive director Bob Foster who came to the school for the presentation.
Also taking part in the presentation was Howland High School student Katie LaRose, 18, who has volunteered at the center since she was 14. Katie now works at the center as a rehabilitation aide and assistant therapist.
Children's Rehab Center, located on Howland Wilson Road, is a premier pediatric outpatient center, specializing in infant therapy, physical, speech / language and occupational therapies, assistive technology services, as well as child and family counseling.