10/28/07 — If public donates, they will get buzz cuts

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If public donates, they will get buzz cuts

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on October 28, 2007 2:00 AM

Construction of the Wayne County Animal Adoption and Education Center is under way, and there's a buzz in the air, but it's not coming from the equipment at the Clingman Street site.

Rather, it's coming from the dozens of hairstylists lining up for the opportunity to shave four full heads of hair.

With a fundraising goal of $150,000 to help pay for the center's bricks and mortar, the Wayne County Humane Society is hoping to raise a third of that by sacrificing the heads of board member Frances Gooden, vice presidents Jean Hollowell and Barrett Parker and county manager Lee Smith.

As each one raises the necessary $12,500, the hair will come off -- all the way up to the group's $50,000 goal.

"We are starting to collect the money immediately," Ms. Hollowell said. "We're getting the jars set up and when the funds come in, the hair will come off. We hope that everyone will need a little knit cap by winter time."

"I'm going to be disappointed if I don't get my head shaved," Mrs. Gooden added. "I'm excited about this. My husband supports me and I'll wear my buzzed head proudly."

Donation sites will include Hollowell & Benton, PA Attorneys, at 130 S. John St. and Healthabit Natural Foods & Wines at 606 N. Spence Ave. Checks should be made payable to the Wayne County Humane Society, which is a non-profit, 501c-3, tax-deductible organization. Donations also can be mailed to, Wayne County Humane Society, P.O. Box 54, Goldsboro, NC 27533.

Licensed barbers and hair stylists interested in bidding on the chance to do the shaving should contact Carla Griffin at 734-3747.

Getting the four volunteers, Ms. Hollowell said, took a "little arm-twisting and a little cheerleading." But in the end, she continued, "the four of us stepped up and said, 'alright, we're in.'"

For his part, Smith said it was a fairly easy decision.

"I just thought it was kind of a cool idea and it was something I wanted to do. Besides, when the ladies volunteered, I had to step up," he said. "It's just hair, it'll grow back. The only thing I'm worried about is it coming back in even more gray than it already is."

But some of the volunteers are a little more apprehensive about the prospect of losing their hair.

"I'm excited," Ms. Parker said. "Of course I'm nervous, but I'm excited for the reasons we're doing it."

Ms. Hollowell, though, is even slightly more on edge.

"I have spent the last four years growing my hair out. I'm rather attached to it," she said.

In fact, she admitted that she's even woken up in the middle of night wondering why she agreed to this venture.

But then, she continued, she remembers how badly Wayne County needs a new shelter and what these funds will be able to do to not only help make that a reality, but also to provide for expanded spay and neuter, pet owner education, emergency medical care and other programs.

"We're all a little vain, but we're committed and we're going to do it," she said. "We want people in the community to know that this animal adoption and education center is important and that we're willing to make a sacrifice to ensure it's built."

The center is expected to cost approximately $1.8 million. So far, including the Humane Society, there have been $500,000 in pledges and donations from the community. To help raise its $150,000 portion, the society also will be selling commemorative bricks and a "Dare to Bare: Petals and Paws" calendar featuring 18 prominent Wayne County women.

The center is expected to be up and running within the year.

Anyone interested in participating in the other fundraisers should call Ms. Parker at 751-3928 or Ms. Hollowell at 739-5657.