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Locks from Hawks draws 17 students, staff for event to aid kids suffering medical hair loss

This is the first year staff at Southridge are asked to participate

TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Rebekah Oldenburg, a freshman at Southridge High School, looks at Jess Pitchman, a student at Paul Mitchell of Portland, hold her hair that she had cut for Locks from Hawks, a fundraiser for Locks of Love.  For the last decade or so, Mark Trout sported a buzz cut. Then, a year and a half ago, he decided to grow his hair out. That all changed on Wednesday morning when Trout, a special education teacher at Southridge High School, got 10 inches of his graying locks clipped as part of a donation to Locks of Love.

After having four small pony tails placed in strategic locations, Trout marched out in front of the first-period lunch crowd at Southridge and bravely watched as his long hair was shorn. While a stylist cut his hair, he joked around by placing the cut pieces in his mouth, creating a walrus-like mustache.

Trout was the first staff member to have his hair cut for the event, known as Lock from Hawks, since the event began three years ago. This year’s crop of clipped participants included a total of 17 (12 students and five staff members) who were aided by students and staff from the Paul Mitchell School of Portland, according to Amanda Scannell, who coordinated the effort for Southridge’s Leadership Class.TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Mark Trout, a special education teacher at Southridge High School, laughs while Collett Garza, a student at Paul Mitchell of Portland, puts his hair up in ponytails before having his hair cut for Locks from Hawks, a fundraiser for Locks of Love.

“We’re super excited,” said Anabel Goldberg, a Paul Mitchell events coordinator, right before the event began. “We did this last year as well.”

Locks of Love is the national organization that aids children suffering from medical hair loss. The West Palm Beach, Fla.-based organization provides the hairpieces free of charge or on a sliding scale based on the financial need of the child’s family. The hairpieces would normally retail anywhere from $3,500 to $6,000, according to the Locks of Love website.

After having her hair cut, Kiley Connor, a 10th-grader who was participating for the first time in the event, said it felt strange to grab her hair — which only moments before had fallen to her waist — and find 10 inches missing. Still, she wasn’t disappointed with the shorter hairdo, looking at it this way: “I wanted a change and also wanted to help someone else.”

At another end of the classroom/hair salon, Rebekah Oldenburg, a freshman with thick reddish hair, was participating in her second Locks of Love event. She said she immediately felt the difference of having less hair.

“It feels like I’m four pounds lighter,” she said.

Scannell said she was pleased with how smoothly the event went as the long strands of hair were placed into plastic bags.

“We put them all in a box and send them off and then they get their recognition slips in the mail,” she said.

Scannell said the Locks of Love event is one of her favorite Leadership Class projects.

As the Paul Mitchell stylists trimmed up what had once been his long hair, Trout said it felt unusual to no longer have hair that bushed out to the side of his head, creating something of a hair helmet.

“I don’t think I’ll get compared to Jerry Garcia anymore,” he quipped.TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Sam Toth, a sophomore at Southridge High School, has her her hair styled by Natalia Leckey, a student at Paul Mitchell of Portland, after having her hair cut for Locks from Hawks, a fundraiser for Locks of Love.