Local women pony up hair for children's charities
JANESVILLE — You could say they're a cut above the rest.
On Monday, longtime friends and Rock Aqua Jays members Jeanice Fox and Judy Slatter had a combined seven ponytails and 80 inches cut from atop their heads. The pair had been growing their hair out for four years.
The beneficiaries of the cuts are Locks of Love and Wigs for Kids, two nonprofit groups that provide hair replacement solutions for children suffering from long-term medical hair loss, according to their websites.
Fox and Slatter made their donations in memory of Fox's late husband, Jim, and Jim Kumlien. Both men were Aqua Jays members and law enforcement officers, and both loved working with children.
Both also died from cancer.
The women purposely chose to cut their hair close to Valentine's Day.
"We love and miss them both, so we agreed to do it in loving memory of them and for everything they've done," Fox said.
The shearings took place at Haalo, 301 W. Milwaukee St., Suite 204. As hair stylist Arryn Kidd wet and combed through Fox's hair in preparation of the cut, Fox nervously swung her legs back and forth in her chair.
"This is kind of exciting, especially knowing we're doing it for the ones we loved," she said.
"This is what I wanted done," she added, running her hands through the length of her hair. "I've just grown accustom to it."
Taking a deep breath before the snip of scissors, Fox finally was ready.
"Drum roll, please," she said, pounding the palms of her hands against her thighs to create the sound effect.
"Oh! That feels short, but so much lighter," she said with a giggle, running her hands through her shortened hair.
At first, Fox didn't want to see the ponytails that had been removed. Soon she was clutching them in her hands.
"I hope this brings a little comfort to some precious child," she said, tears pooling in her eyes.
Slatter was calm as she sat in the chair and waited for the familiar 'snip.'
"I've done this before and am grateful I can do something so simple for somebody else," she said.
When Kidd told Slatter she'd be able to harvest five rather than four ponytails, Slatter shouted, "Hot dog! I'll be five pounds lighter when I step on the scales."
Fox and Slatter later posed together with their ponytails after the cuts and before getting their hair styled.
Fox hugged Slatter.
"It's another thing we've done together," she said with a smile.