Later this month, a local 10-year-old will be shaving her head for a good cause.
Ellie Ahne, daughter of Lyn and Kim Ahne, will be donating her long hair to St. Baldrick’s.
“One of her friends she plays soccer with shaved for St. Baldrick’s and I jokingly said to her ‘maybe you could shave, too,’” Lyn said. “You could just see the light bulb go on and she said ‘OK.’”
St. Baldrick’s, a volunteer-driven charity that helps fund childhood research grants, coordinates head-shaving events and other fundraisers.
On April 26, Ellie will have her head shaved during an event at No-Jacks Bar & Grill in Smithton.
“It’s really just snowballed,” Lyn said. “We really didn’t know what to expect.”
When Lyn set up Ellie’s participant page on St. Baldrick’s, she had to set a fundraising goal.
Not knowing the support Ellie would gain, Lyn entered $100 as the goal. With more than a week to go, Ellie has already raised more than $1,000 for the charity.
“She was truly inspired by the girl on her soccer team and wants to raise as much money as she can for St. Baldrick’s,” Lyn said.
In addition, Ellie’s sister Kayla and their cousin Abby will also be donating 10 inches of their hair to Locks of Love.
“That’s very admirable, too, because that’s a lot of hair,” Lyn said.
The girls have been growing their hair out for more than two years and have a lot to show for it.
Kim said Ellie and Kayla’s aunt was diagnosed with brain cancer, and she was there to cuttheir ponytails off the last time they participated in Locks of Love.
“I’m just in awe of Ellie,” Lyn said.
They discussed what Ellie would do if any of the kids at school made fun of her afterwards for having no hair.
“She said she would just walk away,” Lyn said. “She told me ‘it’s just hair and will grow back.’”
Lyn said the community support for Ellie has been just tremendous.
“People we don’t even know have donated money,” Lyn said.
On April 26, there will be haircuts every 15 minutes starting at 2 p.m. at No-Jacks.
“There are 15 people signed up for this event,” Lyn said. “So far, she’s in second place with donations.”
Kim said a lot of the donations have been made in memory of loved ones people have lost to cancer.
“We are just extremely appreciative of everyone who’s given to this cause,” Lyn said. “And we’re just consumed with pride of these girls.”
St. Baldrick’s doesn’t use the shaved-off hair — it’s symbolic of kids with cancer who often lose their hair during treatment.
To learn more about Ellie’s fundraising effort, visit her page on St. Baldrick’s by searching “Ellie Ahne” on www.stbaldricks.org.