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Losing locks for a good cause

Posted on November 18, 2013 by Westwind Weekly

The memories of Terry Fox and all he did to increase awareness of cancer and the need for cancer research live on each fall when schools across Canada take part in a run bearing his name.

For at least three members of Magrath High School, fundraising efforts for Terry’s cause will be hard to forget – at least until their hair grows back and provides a buffer against cooler temperatures.

Students Sam Tollestrup and Christian Kirchner and band teacher Sam Yamamoto had offered up a challenge. If staff and students could raise $1,000 for cancer research, they would agree to have their heads shaved in front of the entire school population.

Through bake sales, pledges and the dogged efforts of secretary Ila Ehlert, Magrath High raised more than $1,100. With cosmetology teacher Barb Broadhead wielding scissors and an electric razor, and students cheering on the proceedings with chants of  ‘shave it, shave it’ Kirchner’s long-flowing locks were the first to hit the hardwood floor.

While he questioned aloud his choice of challenge as the cool air hit his newly shorn scalp, it should be noted Kirchner likely had fair warning after his older brother Brendan was part of a similar head shave at the school five years ago.

Tollestrup’s curly mop was the next to be sacrificed and while he looked longingly at a tuft of hair floating to the ground, he was a good sport like the others and rose to his feet for a pirouette to allow the crowd a glimpse of his haircut in progress.

Yamamoto’s signature dreadlocks required a little more work on Broadhead’s part, and she took delight in tossing each to the gym floor in front of him after snipping them off. A few bold students raced forward to grab a handful of souvenir before returning to the bleachers with their prized possession.

Yamamoto wrapped up the brief assembly, reminding them of the cause and the man behind the event, calling Fox a “shining light” and a great mentor.

For more information on happenings within the Westwind School Division, go to

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