Locks of Love has long history at WRHS

Sun News correspondentOctober 24, 2012 

Tradition is important at Warner Robins High School, a school that enjoys a rich heritage of excellence in academics and athletics. Another tradition the school fosters in its students is the desire to help make the world a better place.

Ten years ago, Randi Collier, a science teacher at the school, and one of her students cut their hair in class one morning and donated it to Locks of Love, a national nonprofit that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the U.S. and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss.

Since then, the act of donating hair to Locks of Love has become a Demon tradition. The school holds two Locks of Love events every year.

Over the years, hundreds of students, parents and faculty members from Warner Robins High and other schools have gathered to cut their hair.

They also gather to remember the little girl who inspired the local effort. The Locks of Love effort at Warner Robins High was started by Collier in honor of Joanna McAfee, the namesake of the Joanna McAfee Childhood Cancer Foundation.

After McAfee’s death in 2005, the focus was changed to not only honor her memory but educate the public about the foundation her parents created to help fight pediatric cancer.

“It is something that we strive for here at Warner Robins High School -- to encourage our students to appreciate what they have and to encourage them to give back to others,” said Steve Monday, principal of the school.

Monday said that the Locks of Love events that the school hosts are a mixture of the past and the future.

“It is a tradition at Warner Robins High that we look back and remember. But it is also a tradition here that we look forward and that we do anything we can do to help,” Monday said.

About a dozen people signed up to cut their hair in the event. Collier took her seventh-period class to watch. One of her students, 10th-grader Taysia Arneho, moved by the video depicting McAfee’s life and the hair donations, decided to cut her hair.

“It is such a good cause. My mom will be surprised when I get home,” she said, “but when she finds out why I cut my hair, I know she will think I did the right thing.”

Joining Arneho were Chantee Watts, Shelly H. Sloan, Alexis Rosales, Kristin Alligood, Lexi McFeeters, Whitney Sloan, Amy Eubanks and Matthew Garcia.

To inquire about being part of the spring Locks of Love, contact Collier at Warner Robins High.

Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 or allinekent@cox.net.

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