“I know that I don’t need my hair to be beautiful. Fundraising money to help cancer sufferers and supporting these incredibly brave women is so much more beautiful. It should be our actions that make us beautiful, not our hair,” explained Georgia Buchanan as to why she decided to take part in the Bald is Beautiful campaign.
The Bald is Beautiful campaign saw nine Woodford House girls shave their heads on Friday 29 June 2018 as a way to give back to the community and support women diagnosed with breast cancer. The group’s goal was to not only raise awareness of breast cancer, but to also raise $10,000 and donate all proceeds to the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.
This student-led initiative was weeks in the making and took place during lunch hour at Woodford House with fellow students, staff members and parents gathered to watch and provide support. The girls involved in this initiative were: Georgia Buchanan, Claudia Eames, Holly Lin, Celine Mabey, Nicole Parnell, Alanah Price, Sophie Simons, Le Vu and Juliet Wilkie.
Many of these girls have personal connections with cancer and wanted to help change lives. Each girl also believes it is important for society to understand that hair does not define beauty – Bald is Beautiful too.
Celine Mabey shared her personal connection to cancer and why she joined the initiative by saying, “I want to be able to help the community so that more people have the same story as my grandma, and can say that they conquered cancer. Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Foundation is an amazing cause helping women who are suffering around New Zealand. I would like to support them through tough times and give them the support they need to fight cancer.”
Stephanie Russell, Deputy Principal – Student Wellbeing, supported the girls throughout the entire planning process and played a central role in organising the event. Mrs Russell opened the event with inspiring words when she said, “This event distils down to the concept of respect. It’s respect from all of us for the genesis of the idea to help others and find a cure for cancer. It’s respect for these girls and their courageous act – for their solidarity and believing passionately that bald is beautiful.”
Alanah Price summarised her own motivation for starting the Bald is Beautiful initiative with her classmates, “I want to shave my head for cancer, because I want to save a life. I want to do this because my hair doesn’t define who I am. There are so many unfair standards surrounding women – including that we are supposed to have long healthy hair – but some women don’t get this option. Cancer patients don’t choose when they lose their hair and it’s hard for them, I want to show them that they’re not alone.”
The girls were joined by two staff members – Jill Foster, Teacher’s Aide, and Head Chef Nick Haszard, as well as Gap Year Student, Micaela Soto – who also decided to shave their heads in support of the cause. Jill Foster shared her support for the campaign and said, “I am happy to support this cause as I have personally experienced cancer. I fully support our Woodford House girls in doing this as it is a huge commitment for young women with absolutely beautiful heads of hair to make such a sacrifice. It is for an amazing and worthy cause.”
The Woodford House girls set up a Givealittle fundraising page in order for members of the Woodford House community and the Hawke’s Bay community at large to donate to their campaign. A total of $6115.00 has been donated by 100 generous donors to date. All of these funds are donated directly to Breast Cancer Foundation NZ. Girls with longer hair (natural and 21cm long) also donated their hair to the American Pantene Beautiful Lengths Organisation to be made into wigs for cancer patients.
Mr Chris Lonergan, Acting Communications and Development Manager
Read more in the Hawke’s Bay Today.