“Four hours of peace, music and hair” is what the fliers for Hair Stock promised to offer, and the April 23 event at the Orpheum turned out to be just that as people from all over Flagstaff gathered together to donate both hair and money to cancer patients.
Chris Scully, owner of the Orpheum Theater, said he enjoys providing a space for local organizations and people to hold events that benefit the Flagstaff community.
“The Orpheum is interested in working with any local groups that are trying to do an event for profit or for the community, and it is for people doing community events that help out,” Scully said. “More so than ever, we were part of Hair Stock, [which is] a unique cause and is going to help people locally.”
Hair Stock was started two years ago to support the local cancer community by participants donating their locks to organizations that makes wigs for patients. The event included kid-friendly activities, food, music, an auction and a raffle.
Cecilia Weining, creator and coordinator of Hair Stock, said the purpose of the event was to help provide oncology patients with essential items.
“All proceeds go to the local cancer patients,” Weining said. “It helps them get prescription, walkers and needed assistance.”
Weining said she created the event because she wanted to donate hair and get others interested in the charitable process.
“I have worked at Arizona Oncology for 11 years, which is where local patients get chemotherapy, and I wanted to donate my hair to Locks of Love, which is for children,” Weining said. “There is also a program called Pantene Beautiful Lengths, which is focused on women; I started to look more into it. I wanted to make it an event so others could get involved.”
Weining said she plans to keep Hair Stock going for the next couple years.
“My goal is five years, and after that we will see what happens,” Weining said. “This is the second year, so I want to keep it going for three more years. I feel very good about where this is heading. This year we actually doubled the proceeds from last year.”
Scully said the event was a success and that abundant amounts of hair were donated.
“We set up a family-friendly community event,” Scully said. “The idea was to get awareness out there, try and raise a few dollars for the local cancer patients, and also one of the goals was to get as many kids in there for the kid activities, and that was real successful. We had 20 or 30 kids out there for the Easter egg hunt and playing in the bouncy house. I believe there were over 70 ponytails cut when that thing was over.”
Joe Constantine, an employee of the Orpheum Theater who recently returned to Flagstaff to help with Hair Stock, said he said he usually grows out his hair to donate it to the cause.
“I used to grow this down to my belt and give it to Locks of Love,” Constantine said, pointing to his hair. “It is really a great cause.”
Karen Donovan, a Flagstaff native, cut her hair, which she had been growing out for two and a half years. She had donated her hair to Locks of Love before, but had never been to Hair Stock; she heard of it two days before the event. She said she enjoyed the opportunity to help those in need and was happy about the overwhelming public support.
“It’s a great way to help out other people,” Donovan said. “It’s exciting to see how many people are willing to do [donate their hair].”
The event auction included bras, an iPad, an iPod Shuffle and an Amazon Kindle. There were also free gifts such as lanyards, Chapstick and bandanas.
Four local bands — the Rounders, Silent Colour, The Shifters and Summit Dub Squad — performed at Hair Stock, providing country, acoustic rock and alternative music for the crowd. The bands all volunteered their time to to play for the cause.
Scully said Hair Stock offered his employees a chance to contribute their locks to a good cause.
“It’s the second year that it’s been at the Orpheum, and it’s become a regular for us,” Scully said. “I think we’re going to certainly host a third [event] with the Hair Stock people, so it’s a unique event because it’s really a hair-a-thon as much as it is a fundraising event. t’s real fun event for us to do, and there’s a real connection. Two of my security staff got their hair cut this year. I got my hair cut last year.”