BLOOMINGTON — Lindsay Drenner had been in search of something to rally behind.
She found her calling Saturday, and shaved her head.
“I did this by choice, but some people don’t have a choice and it feels good to do something,” said Drenner, a senior at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Drenner was among 45 IWU students who severed ties with their hair at Hansen Student Center, exchanging their locks for donations and raising more than $10,000 to benefit St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which funds children’s cancer research.
Drenner’s parents, David and Lisa Drenner, sister Amanda Drenner and friends were in the cheering crowd.
“I’m really proud of her,” said Amanda Drenner, as she waved as sign in support. “She has more guts than I’ve ever had.”
Christina Hoblin, the event’s main organizer, was moved to put together the fundraiser because cancer affects many children across the country.
And, with half dozen of her classmates onboard, she knew it would generate a lot of interest on campus.
“Who wouldn’t pay a bunch of money to see girls go bald?” Hoblin asked.
She was right.
Spectators were on their feet in anticipation of the first snip of the scissors, and they cheered as women became bald. Cosmetology students from Paul Mitchell School in Normal served as barbers.
Donors with long hair will help Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program, which makes wigs for cancer patients.
Linda Farquharson, a professor of music at the school, was among those who shaved their heads. She was motivated to join the effort because of the passion she saw among the students.
“I looked at (Hoblin) with her beautiful hair and I said, ‘If she can do this, then I should, too,’” Farquharson said. “And the ‘should’ became a want.”