Kid2Kid Head Shave one of the highlights of Summer 2010

What would it take for you to allow your wife to shave your head in front of your co-workers and 300 of your students? This summer, First Stage Artistic Director Jeff Frank agreed to undergo a public shaving of the head if Academy students raised $400 for the Kid2Kid fund at First Stage. Academy teacher Bo Johnson upped the ante, announcing that if the fundraiser surpassed last year’s total of $650, he too would buzz his long locks.

The Kid2Kid fund started six years ago to provide First Stage Theater Academy scholarships to needy families.  During Summer Academy, students can choose to donate loose change to the Kid2Kid box.

But after Jeff's announcement, the students got serious and set a date for a Friday bake sale.  Because children are smart and because they have a strong interest in seeing sacrificial hair shaves, they quickly figured out that if each student in the Academy chipped in $1.50 towards a cookie, they would meet the $400 goal.

Click here to watch the video of how that went down:

Academy student Liz McNeill felt strongly about the fundraiser.  She told her mother she wanted to contribute a significant amount from her own savings, made up of  babysitting income.  Said the passionate fourteen-year-old who is spending her fifth summer at First Stage:  "I've seen transformations take place here.  I don't ever want any other kid turned away from First Stage because they can't afford it." Miss McNeill's mother Suzanne appreciated her daughter's gesture but felt a large donation would be hard on the college fund.  She suggested her daughter donate a little less individually, but the family would make up the difference by matching Miss McNeill's gift.

The resultant Head Shave so inspired Miss McNeill that she pledged to her fellow students to cut off her own hair to above the ears if another $400 was raised in the remaining two weeks of Academy.  A few more bake sales occurred, more students tossed in their spare change, and as the box was counted out, Miss McNeill graciously honored her pledge.
Suzanne and Liz McNeill at First Stage Children's Theater.  Photo by Mithra Ballesteros.
Miss McNeill's hair is stylishly short now as she prepares to enter high school in Whitefish Bay.  Locks of Love became another beneficiary of her gesture, as she donated her ponytail to their efforts to provide wigs for children suffering long-term medical hair loss.  No doubt being bald can be hard, but this summer at First Stage, we are grateful for all the loss of hair that took place willingly and deliberately in the name of a really really great cause. 

The Kid2Kid fund provides First Stage Theater Academy scholarships to children in need.  If you would like to send children in need to the First Stage Theater Academy by donating to the Kid2Kid fund, please click here


Jenn said...

Liz was my amazing itern and she rocks!! :)

Jenn said...

Haha whoops, I meant "intern", not "itern" :) Anyways, Liz is an amazing person!!

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