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March 17, 2013

Changing for change: Wilson Elementary teachers, students shave their heads for “Pennies for Patients” fundraiser



In total, five students and four teachers took the plunge to shave their heads during the Pennies for Patients kick off. One teacher elected for a haircut for a donation to Locks of Love.  

“It [the head shaving] went very well,” Parr said. “It was not as emotional as I thought [it would be], but seeing parents and teachers cry didn’t help,” said Parr, who was emotional because his wife, Jennifer, was diagnosed with lymphoma in October of 2012. 

“I think this is awesome and it’s great for everyone,” said Jennifer Parr, who came out to support her husband and the Pennies for Patients kick-off.  

Although Kyle Parr said he and his wife have the worst behind them, they are very thankful for the supportive community that continues to help them. 

“We are appreciative for everyone’s support and the kids who were bold enough to have their heads shaved. Also, the teachers who joined me to support my wife and myself. I know the school, employees and my boss have supported us, and that has been nice,” said Kyle Parr.

Jennifer Parr echoed her husband’s sentiments.

“The support of friends and family is what has gotten me through — support and the power of prayer,” she said.

In addition to the head shaving, the Pennies for Patients kick-off included students selling ribbons and bracelets they made. Kyle Parr said there have been Pennies for Patients fundraisers at Wilson before, but not to this magnitude.  

Gustafson said the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society often coordinates fundraising drives with local schools.  

"I was very impressed with how organized it was, and excited about the enthusiasm, and the individuals who came out to have their hair cut and to help us find a cure,” said Gustafson. 

But it’s not just schools who support the cause, Gustafson said. Businesses are also welcome to hold fundraisers and serve as sponsors, as Bales Auto Mall and Bowles Mattress recently did. 

Wilson raised $350 — $150 from the students and $200 from a matched check written by Kyle  Parr’s mother — on Friday and that amount is expected to continue to grow over the next few weeks, organizers said.

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