Mike Brown and his wife, Nancy, have literally helped build a new university with their generosity.
University of La Verne football team members donate great lengths of their hair to Locks Of Love charity, which creates prosthetic hairpieces for children.
The five members of the University of La Verne football team who got major lengths of their hair cut off Thursday morning may never meet the ailing children they will be helping, but all of them were happy to give.
The hair will be donated to Locks Of Love, an organization that creates prosthetic hairpieces for children suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. The effort is part of the team’s “Beyond The Goalpost” program, which reaches out to help with such causes in the community.
“I know there are people out there who can use this hair, so it’s easy for me to let go of it,” graduate assistant Mason Stoltenberg said shortly before being shorn of his shoulder-length hair. “I have grown it out for the past year and a half just for this. I’m sure whoever it goes to will be happy to have it and that’s all I want.”
Recruiting Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach Brent Baier organized the contributors, who gathered at Roots Salon in La Verne, where shop owner Amanda Clarke and associate Aggie Paronelli did the snipping free of charge. Taking their turns in the chair, besides Baier and Stoltenberg, were freshman wide receiver Travis Hills, assistant coach Ben Hempel, and graduate student Kaiea Medeiros. Each gave significant lengths of hair.
“This is one way we try to live the mission of the university, service in the community,” Baier said. “The Beyond The Goalpost program is something Coach (Chris) Krich started a couple of years ago as a way to give our players the opportunity to give back and be active helping in the community.”
The hair donation was one of three charity events organized by the La Verne football team this fall. On Monday, the team will conduct a blood drive for City of Hope, which is often low on blood stores because it does not outsource its blood collection. On Saturday, Oct. 5, the team will collect from fans who attend its home football game $5 gift cards to be donated to City of Hope patients and their families.
Baier grew his hair for a full year before his turn in the chair Thursday left him with a buzz cut of which any football coach or drill sergeant would approve.
“It feels good, kind of a relief to have it cut off,” Baier said. “Especially knowing that there are kids out there who are going to benefit from it.”
Locks Of Love’s website says most of the children helped by such donations have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The organization is dedicated to helping to restore the self-esteem and confidence of children, enabling them to face the world and their peers.