Heritage Middle School capped off its last pep rally of the year with 20 feet of hair.After performances by the cheerleaders and a special tribute to the school’s Special Olympians, students and staff watched as Bronco community members donated their ponytails to Locks of Love, an international non-profit organization that uses donated hair to make wigs for cancer survivors.Fifteen women, students, staff and community members got their hair cut during the pep rally.Covered mostly by black barber’s aprons, they sat facing the bleachers in a row of folding chairs as students from the Ogle School, a cosmetology facility, lined up to cut the hair.The scissors went to the ponytails with extreme prejudice as the crowd cheered, chanting “locks of love.”As a stylist held her 11-inch ponytail in the air, 13-year-old Mandi Ringo was beat red and in a giggling fit.“All my friends were cheering, ‘Mandi, Mandi,’ ” the seventh-grader said.For Ringo, the donation was personal. She said she decided give up her locks because her grandmother, who has ovarian cancer, started her chemotherapy treatment on May 9.Ringo said she doesn’t mind losing her hair because it will grow back.“It makes cancer patients feel really good,” she said.Shelby Sparks, a seventh-grader, stood before her peers twice at the pep rally. The first time Sparks, who has lived with Dravet Syndrome, was recognized for her accomplishments in the Special Olympics. Then she stepped forward to donate her hair.Her mother, Lauren Sparks, said it was great for her daughter to share the moment with the kids and families that she’s known since kindergarten.Shelby’s donation measured in at 12.5 inches.
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dussssstin