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Cycle barn collects Locks of Love for Valentines Day
SMOKEY POINT What started out with an auto accident led to a benefit for children who have lost their hair due to medical conditions.
The Smokey Point Cycle Barn hosted a hair-cutting for the Locks of Love charity on Valentines Day, Feb. 14, collecting $140 and several feet of hair in donations.
Larry Star, who gained nationwide media attention for selling his ex-wifes wedding dress on eBay, met up with fellow Marysville resident Karen Bray, of the Top Notch Barber Shop, when his current wifes car was totaled and taken to a collision shop next to Brays barber shop. After Bray agreed to trim and collect hair for the event, Star, a longtime biker, contacted the Cycle Barns Dave Preston, asking if the Cycle Barn could host the event.
It had been four years since Id last got my hair cut, said Star, who sported a 15-inch ponytail before Bray snipped it off. I ride bikes and play in a rock-and-roll band. I already knew about Locks of Love, but this was my first time doing this. Id always wanted to do it, and I figured it was just time. I wanted to go all out, though, and get other people involved.
Star succeeded in that goal, since the event drew nearly a dozen participants. While some donated money, others brought bags of their own pre-cut hair, in accordance with Locks of Loves requirements 10 inches or longer, clean and dry, bundled in ponytails or braids, and free from chemical damage. Half of the participants sat down in Brays chair at the Cycle Barn and let her trim their hair on the spot.
Arlington resident and biker Marty Cress hadnt had his hair cut in nearly three years, and gave his 11-inch ponytail to Locks of Love.
I was in the Navy 30 years before I retired, Cress said. Once I got out, I just let my hair grow. I heard about this event in The Arlington Times, and I wanted to donate it to cancer patients, since Ive had relatives who have struggled with that. It was a rewarding and exhilarating experience.
After Cress and Star received their trims, a number of younger volunteers agreed to go under Brays scissors to help out others, starting with Stanwoods Azzie Wheeler, a 10-year-old who sat down in Brays chair with mixed emotions.
Im kind of nervous, but Im really anxious to see it, Wheeler said. I was ready to have my hair cut anyway, so my mom told me I could donate it to other kids. I was tired of the same old thing, but I didnt think Id go as short as I did.
Wheelers mom, Adawna Sherman, noted that her daughter hadnt had her hair cut in three or four years. Sherman would have joined her daughter in Brays chair, but as Wheeler was quick to add, Shes dyed her hair, like, over a hundred times.
While Wheeler was biting her lower lip when Bray began trimming her hair, her jaw dropped as soon as she saw herself in Brays mirror.
That looks so awesome, Wheeler said. Im so glad I did it.
Marysvilles Trevor Russell, 16, was more restrained in his enthusiasm. A man of few words, Russell nonetheless took part because hed also had family who had benefitted from Locks of Love.
You do know none of your friends are going to recognize you, right? asked Cindy Russell, Trevors mom, as Bray snipped his shoulder-length bangs into a close-cropped faux-hawk. Its quite a change.
Russell himself said hed probably do it again, although he admitted it would be a while before he could look in a mirror.
Julie Willett, a 12-year-old from Marysville, was the final donor of the two-hour event. Star suggested to Preston that they extend it to three hours next time, due to the number of volunteers.
I was ready for a change, said Willett, whose family friend is a leukemia survivor who donates to Locks of Love. It was getting hard to comb my hair. We were looking for a place to donate when we saw this in the paper. I could see myself doing this again.
So could Star, who hopes to make this an annual event for Locks of Love at the Cycle Barn, every Valentines Day at the Cycle Barn. Preston and Bray agreed, although they groaned at Stars closing pun.
Next time, it should be Bagels of Love, too, Star laughed.