BURGETTSTOWN - Ghost in the Head, a Huron American Indian warrior, will be "scalping" those donating hair during a Locks of Love fundraiser Saturday at the Pepsi-Cola Roadhouse on state Route 18.
"I will be showing up in full battle dress, ready to get some scalps for the kids," said Ghost in the Head, who spends much of his time doing educational programs on American Indian life during the French and Indian War. "I will be doing some scalping, we'll ask some people to participate. They'll be brought up on stage, and we'll let them announce who they are, where they are from and, if they are doing this in honor of someone, who they are honoring. Then, I'll give the big war whoop and snip their ponytail."
Ghost in the Head will be arriving at the event at 2 p.m. This isn't the first time he has participated in a Locks of Love event.
READY TO HELP — JoAnn Alexy, left, and Paige Morra, right, display some of the items that will be available in the Locks of Love Chinese auction. The auction is part of a larger event Saturday at the Pepsi-Cola Roadhouse benefiting the Locks of Love nonproft. -- Summer Wallace-Minger
"A few years ago, I did a scalping for Locks of Love in Meadville," he said. "It was very successful, I believe we had 10 'scalps.' I believe in this program, and when I heard about the event at the Pepsi-Cola Roadhouse on the radio, I called and asked if I could come up and add a little bit of entertainment and excitement. If you're going to give up your hair, what better way than to have Ghost in the Head come scalp you?"
Ghost in the Head has been impacted by cancer and believes in the charity's mission to provide wigs for children who have lost their hair to chronic illness.
"I am deeply honored to be involved," he said. "My family has been decimated by cancer, and this is a way to help fight back and build awareness - to take an ugly situation and make it a little bit more fun while raising awareness and collecting ponytails."
Heaven hair salon is hosting its eighth-annual Locks of Love fundraising event, which begins at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Roadhouse. Last year, the event raised $4,800 and garnered 37 ponytails, the longest of which was 22-inches long. Over the past seven years, the event has raised a total of $12,800 and helped area residents donate 140 ponytails. A wig costs around $3,500 to make or requires between six and 10 ponytails, meaning the event has helped in the distribution of at least 18 wigs.
Stylists will be available from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. More than 10 local stylists - including a barber - have volunteered to donate their time and expertise to help Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides wigs to children who have lost their own hair because of chronic illness.
Those attending the event and donating ponytails of 10 inches or longer will receive a free hair cut. The only requirement for donating hair is it must not be bleached. Grey hair is accepted, and men, women and children are welcome to donate.
Those planning to have their hair cut at the event are asked to call and make an appointment prior to the event to avoid long waits and ensure there are an adequate number of stylists available throughout the day. To make an appointment, call heaven hair salon at (724) 947-7866.
The person donating the longest ponytail will receive a gift basket.
Those not donating a ponytail pay a $10 cover charge, which includes a buffet from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; either a hair cut or a back massage, with five massage therapists available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and live entertainment, with Ryann Bartoletti and Friends performing from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Iron Skillet taking the stage at 8 p.m. The cover charge will be donated to Locks of Love.
The Roadhouse will be offering meals following the closure of the free buffet.
From noon to 4 p.m., a child-friendly buffet will be offered, and Rainbow the Clown and the Easter Bunny will be available. Those parents wanting a picture of their child with the Easter Bunny are welcome to bring their own camera. The cover charge for children 8 and under is $5 from noon to 4 p.m.
The event also will include a cash bar, 50/50 drawing and Chinese auction. Prizes for the auction are being accepted at heaven hair salon. To date, prizes include a gift certificate for LeMont Restaurant on Mount Washington; four prime seats and a parking pass for a 2013-2014 Pittsburgh Penguins game; a $200 gift certificate tree; brunch for four at the Nevillewood Country Club; and over-night stays at local hotels. Tickets are 15 for $10 and those who are unable to attend the event may buy auction tickets at the hair salon. The winner need not be present.
Organizers are seeking someone who has benefited from the Locks of Love program to speak during the event. Those interested may contact the hair salon or inquire at the event.
Those who have had their hair cut elsewhere, but would like to donate it to Locks of Love, can drop off the bagged ponytail or braid at the salon during regular business hours.
Locks of Love organized as a nonprofit organization in 1997 under the direction of Madonna Coffman, a retired nurse who developed alopecia in her 20s after receiving a hepatitis vaccination. She was able to recover, but 15 years later, her 4-year-old daughter also developed alopecia and lost her hair. At that time, Coffman directed all her volunteer efforts toward Locks of Love. The organization has recipients in all 50 states and Canada.
To make an appointment for the event, make a donation toward the Chinese auction or for information, call the salon at (724) 947-7866.
(Wallace-Minger can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)