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Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015

Snips, clips for Locks of Love

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lexi Bailey, assisted by Teresa Puckett, cuts the hair of Principal Reita Vaughn as part of a month-long cancer awareness project at the school. Students wore pink on Thursday and decorated their hair.
(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons)
A gymnasium full of elementary students chanted "Cut it! Cut it!" Thursday afternoon, encouraging Gracie Herrod as she snipped a 10-inch section of hair from the long blond locks of Southside School vice-principal Layne Talbott.

"This is the shortest her hair has been since she was a little girl," noted Myrtle Draper, Talbott's mother, who was on hand to watch the event.

Surprise donation

Both Talbott and Reita Vaughn, the school's principal, had surprised students in the assembly by cutting their hair and donating the ponytails to Locks of Love, a national non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss.

"I've wanted to do this for many years, and my hair is finally long enough to do it," said Vaughn.

Serious view

Cancer is a subject Vaughn takes seriously. Her mother, Helen Giles, is a 30-year survivor of ovarian and colon cancer. Her grandmother died of colon cancer and nine years ago, she lost a sister, Annette Grossberg, to lung cancer. Homer and Jean Vaughn, her in-laws, both passed away from cancer-related illness just five years ago.

Kindergarten student Payton Templeton, the granddaughter of the school's long-time administrative assistant Johnnie Templeton, battled leukemia for several years and is now in remission. Payton lost much of her hair during treatments, but enjoyed wearing wigs and hats during that time.

Helping others

The assembly was part of the school's continuing community service efforts. This month students are on track to collect more than 4,000 non-perishable food items -- which will become part of Thanksgiving food boxes for needy families next month.

In addition, faculty and staff have supported cancer awareness by donating $5 each time they wore blue jeans to school this month. The money collected this year totaled more than $500, and was given to a local family struggling through the economic impacts cancer can cause.