By Janee Law
As the holidays spread the spirit of giving, Lock’s of Love hosted its 13th annual haircut on Nov. 17, where students from the Cold Spring Harbor School District donated their ponytails to children suffering from alopecia areata or cancer.
“We always do it right around Thanksgiving in the spirit of giving thanks for what you have and what you don’t have,” said Kathleen Fristensky, club advisor and Spanish teacher at Cold Spring Harbor High School.
With the minimum requirement of 10 inches, students from fourth grade and up donated at least 12 inches, Fristensky said.
This year, 16 students participated and, for the whole year, Fristenkey is hoping to raise at least $10,000 to help defray cost of hairpieces, she said in an email, adding that this was her sixth time donating her hair to the cause.
“I barely had 10 inches to give myself this year and I did it anyway because my feeling is that when you give your word and you make a commitment you have to hold strong to that, and I buzzed my head,” Fristenkey laughed, noting that she is now sporting a crew cut.
Hosting the event for a sixth time was Cactus Salon at 258 Main St. in Huntington, having about six hairdressers snip at the girls’ long manes.
Other local businesses also contributed to the event, including East Northport-based Island Silkscreen Inc., where Francesco Matrinelli designed and donated Barbie T-shirts for the participants.
The front of the shirt stated, ‘Who needs a ponytail?’ with someone cutting a ponytail off Barbie in a mirror, while the back of the shirt displayed the words, ‘lots of love for Locks of Love.’”
Fristenkey also recognized Little Vincent’s Pizza in Huntington, who also joined the cause by donating pizza to the group.
Lock’s of Love is a nonprofit based in West Palm Beach, Florida, that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children who receive their prostheses free of charge or on a sliding scale, based on financial need.
After becoming the advisor of the club 13 years ago, Fristensky said the annual haircut has had more than 300 participants and nearly $90,000 in donations to date.
“A lot of courage that comes along with this,” Fristensky said. “It’s very cool and I hope we can continue to do this for a real long time.”
Legislator Doc Spencer is going to be recognizing the girl’s generous donations with proclamations on Dec. 14.
“For these kids to give so selflessly, it’s a very miraculous thing and they do it with blind faith,” Fristensky said. “A lot of them cry when they cut off their hair because their hair defines who they are, what they represent and for me I think it’s so incredible for them to be part of this and to recognize that when they do this they’re doing something for themselves. It gives them an inner strength that they never knew they possessed