COLUMN: Why SA chose Dreams for Daniele, Pantene Beautiful Lengths

Candice Shelbrack

Emily Filec, Staff Reporter

By now, I’m sure you have heard about Student Association’s spring event, Dreams for Daniele. And if you haven’t, check out Clarion’s preview story.

There has been some discussion about – and opposition to – Student Association’s decision in naming Pantene Beautiful Lengths as the organization where the hair cut during the Dreams for Daniele assembly will be donated. It is my responsibility, as the President of the Student Association and as a representative of the Riverside Brookfield Student Body, to inform the community not only of the purpose in facilitating the Dreams for Daniele event, but also about the process of selecting Pantene’s program.

An ongoing goal of the Student Association is to promote and increase spirit throughout the building. As we, the SA Executive Board, evaluated our priorities for second semester, we decided that it was crucial to continue fostering school spirit in a way that would also positively impact the greater community. After hearing that which was done by Komarek School in North Riverside, we were reminded of St. Baldrick’s Day – a fundraiser where students and staff cut or shaved their hair to raise money for children battling cancer. Inspired by the event Komarek held in December and in an effort to unite the school, we chose to adapt St. Baldrick’s Day to something more meaningful and fitting to the needs of a child in our community, who could, one day, join our Bulldog family.

While there are numerous organizations who accept hair donations to make wigs for cancer patients, Student Association chose Pantene Beautiful Lengths as the one to donate the hair to from the Dreams for Daniele event for several reasons. First, we researched the minumum hair length requirement for those who wish to cut their hair for three different places: Locks of Love, Wigs for Kids and Pantene Beautiful Lengths. The minimum length for Locks of Love is ten inches, Wigs for Kids is twelve inches and Pantene Beautiful Lengths is eight inches. The primary focus of the Dreams for Daniele event, as mentioned above, is to ultimately unify the school and alleviate some of the Santucci family’s financial burden. With that in mind, the SAEB deteremined that choosing a foundation with the lower hair length requirement would widen involvement; thus we selected Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

It has also been noted on the Locks of Love website that while they sell their wigs to patients on a sliding scale, based on financials, their individual retail price is between $3500 and $6000, whereas Pantene has donated 24,000 wigs to American Cancer Society’s wig bank, and cancer patients receive them free of charge. We contacted the company and they confirmed that they strictly donate the wigs; they do not make a profit from it. Another concern has been that all of the hair donated may not be used in Pantene’s wig making process. Pantene’s spokesperson did note that the hair they receive is not always useable or fitting of their requirements, and therefore, makes it nearly impossible for them to use one hundred percent of the hair donated.

My hope is that we, as a school, would focus on the true meaning of Dreams for Daniele and be joined together as we move to make differrece in the life of Daniele Santucci and her family.

Sponsor’s Note:
Emily Filec is both a Clarion staff reporter and the President of Student Association.