Amid the cheers of other students and the hum of clippers at Cayman Prep and High School, students and teachers had their hair shaved at lunchtime Friday as part of the Heroes for Hannah Big School Shave, set up to honor young Hannah Meeson by raising awareness of and money for research to combat childhood cancer.
By the time the barbers had finished, more than 34 students, teachers and the school’s new principal had bald heads.
“God so goodly blessed us with beautiful hair and they so sadly lose theirs, I would like them to have the same opportunity I have with my gorgeous hair,” said student Tracey Campbell. “Its a good thing to help support their sickness when we are so lucky enough to survive and live a great life.”
Tracey said she committed to the head shave after Hannah and her mother Gaylene made a moving presentation at the school about childhood cancer. Hannah was diagnosed with medulloblastoma in 2012.
“I did not think very hard about getting my head shaved because I thought it was a good thing to do,” Tracey said, adding, “My parents didn’t at first … After I told them [why], they said that makes more sense.”
Student Aiden Hew said he had his head shaved because his young cousin suffers from cancer.
New Principal Phillip Burgess auctioned off his staff’s hair to the highest bidder. Students donated money to choose which staff member’s head they would get to shave. More than five students rushed to the stage to participate in cutting the hair of Head of Science Katie Devlin amid cheering from other students who watched.
Principal Burgess said, “we jumped all over it, not only to be the first school, but to also help support the charity … which a lot of people do, but the first school to hold the shave event in conjunction with the one held at Cricket Square.”
More than 1,000 people packed Cricket Square on Sept. 23 for the fourth annual Hannah’s Heroes Big Shave to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of pediatric cancer research.
Prep career counselor Arthurlyn Pedley noted that the event at the school was the first time they had done such a special event.
“We were advertising the Big Shave [at Cricket Square] at the school last weekend and the principal said the school would do a shave and the kids just came on board,” she said.
The students organized bake sales, sold snow cones and held the school shave. “So far, one set of student raised over $1,500 and another set raised over $2,000,” said teacher Sandie Hew.