The entire Bellmore-Merrick school community came together March 22 for the districtwide annual Chop Your Locks for charity event benefiting the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, hosted by Wellington C. Mepham High School.
This year’s in-person event has already raised more than $67,000 for the foundation, which supports pediatric cancer research and outreach.
“We couldn’t be prouder of the efforts of our seniors in Participation in Government to coordinate this event and to inspire their classmates and community members to come together for such an incredible cause,” said event co-organizer and social studies teacher Kerry Dennis.
Together with teacher Chris Patten, and social studies chairperson Robyn Einbinder, members of the department oversaw various details of the evening’s success. Patten also played the bagpipes with the Amity Harbor Pipes Band.
Students in Jackie Geller’s Leadership classes also volunteered.
One of this year’s honorees included Geller’s daughter, Giuliana Geller, and another local youth, Gabrielle Brancacio. In district students Carsyn Volpe and Robert LaSpina of Grand Avenue Middle School along with sisters Kate O’Halloran and Kristen O’Halloran of John F. Kennedy High School were also honored.
Mepham senior Thor Bjornsson was the evening’s top fundraiser, earning $4,300 for the foundation.
Cast members from Skull and Bones’ upcoming drama production, “Grease,” performed a dance number. The Bellmore-Merrick Broadcasting team, under the direction of Stu Stein, Matthew Russell and Lisa Kalish, provided live-streaming of the event. Members of the Star Wars-themed cosplay group, the 501st Legion, were also on hand.
When it came time for the shaving shenanigans, students from the district’s cosmetology program, led by instructor Jaime Pendl, operated the hair buzzers. The program is housed at Sanford H. Calhoun High School.
- Mepham ninth grader Braiden Giorgianni raised $717 to cut his long locks. Elliana Zagare, a student in the district’s Cosmetology program, shaved his head.
- Mepham Principal Anthony DiMartinis, social studies chairperson Robyn Einbinder and social studies teachers/co-organizers Chris Patten and Kerry Dennis.
- Students in Jackie Geller’s Leadership classes volunteered at fundraising booths.
- Andrew Del Rosario, an assistant principal at Mepham, shaved student Manny Garcia’s head.
- Sean McMillian and Amanda Ali were part of the live broadcast that Bellmore-Merrick Broadcasting put together during the evening.
- The evening’s emcees honored Mepham senior, Thor Bjornsson, for raising the most money for the Chop Your Locks for Charity event.
- Mepham senior Ryan Their raised $2,300 to shave his head and benefit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation
- Two of the evening’s honorees, sisters Kristen O’Halloran and Kate O’Halloran, with Kate’s twin sister, Jill O’Halloran.
Photos courtesy of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District.