That’s why when the Berry College women’s basketball team learned that the mother of their athletic trainer, Ginger Swann, had been diagnosed with leukemia, the team wanted to find a way to help and show support for the Swanns.
That’s where the concept of tonight’s “Ponytail Party” originated, as a way to do something positive for Swann and other cancer patients.
According to the Berry public relations office, the basketball team will host a “Ponytail Party” from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight at the Krannert Center’s Spruill Ballroom. The event will support the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program, which takes hair of at least 8 inches from donors and creates wigs completely cost-free for cancer patients.
Those donating their hair will receive a free cut and style from Blonde on Broad salon.
“One of my teammates, Brittany Howes, has really long hair, and we’d joked about her getting it cut someday before she entered the ‘real world,’” said Sally Carroll, a senior member of the basketball team. “When we learned about Beth Swann’s diagnosis, we thought about cutting off our long hair and donating it in her honor.
“Once the team talked about that, we thought we might as well try to raise some money to help the Swann family, too, and it just grew and got bigger from there.”
There will also be a raffle at the party that is open to anyone, whether they donate hair or not. The raffle will include items from local businesses, and some of the items include jewelry, furniture, electronics, purses, accessories and gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses.
Carroll said both the Berry community and Rome community have been extremely supportive of the team’s fundraising and planning for tonight’s event.
“We did a lot of research when we thought about this, and we kept reading stories about how having a wig of real hair can help patients feel like it’s a more normal situation,” Carroll said. “We realized something like this can make a big difference. We’ve heard from a lot of people from both Berry and from around Rome, and everyone has been very willing to help.
“It’s been really cool to see people’s attentiveness and their caring,” she added. “Ginger does so much for us, and she cares about us as people, so we really wanted to find a good way to help her and her mom.”
The team has raised more than $2,000 so far by going to local businesses and individuals to collect donations, by selling raffle tickets, and by having two fundraisers at Moe’s Southwest Grill and Schroeder’s New Deli in Armuchee.
Carroll said all the proceeds will go directly to the Swann family for medical bills.
For more information about tonight’s event, call 404-512-1022 or 706-236-2293 or e-mail email@example.com.