Students "Pony Up" Hair for Good CauseFebruary 28, 2014

Rockhurst University students last weekend gave up more than just their time to help cancer patients — they also gave up their hair.

The students who went under the scissors during the Feb. 22 basketball game surrendered their ponytails as part of the Beautiful Lengths program, a partnership between Pantene and the American Cancer Society that provides real-hair wigs to those who have lost their own hair due to cancer. Rockhurst senior Kristen Schildz helped spearhead the effort for the University.

“My favorite quote is ‘be the change you wish to see in the world,’” she said. “I truly try to live by this. I know that hair donations don't save the world, but it makes one more person a little bit happier. And to help provide that to someone who is going through a lot is the least I could do.”

Participants in the program must be able to donate at least 8 inches of clean hair not treated with chemicals or bleach. Schildz said she worked with the Rockhurst athletic department to sponsor a donation to Beautiful Lengths at Rockhurst. At Saturday’s game, 17 donors stepped forward to give a total of 22 feet of hair to the program.

“I received two more donations after the event for a total of 25 donations,” she said. “My favorite part about Pony Up was that I had cancer survivors who were both Rockhurst students — Paige Spillman and Gina Garbo — be the ones to cut hair at the event. I wanted this because it represents hope and to never give up.”

With other students already growing their hair out in the hopes of contributing soon, Schildz said she wants to see Rockhurst continue to partner with Beautiful Lengths, aiming to double the number of donations next year.

For more information on the Beautiful Lengths program, visit

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