MINOOKA — Two students and two teachers at Minooka Community High School are currently battling cancer, so their peers organized a special school event to let them know they are not alone in their fight.
During each of the four lunch periods at both Minooka High's Central and South campuses on Friday, Nov. 30, the school community looked on and cheered in support as seventy-five students and staff members volunteered to have their heads shaved and locks cut as part of a Fun-Razor sponsored by Students Taking a New Direction (STAND).
“The event was targeted at showing the students and staff members at MCHS who are battling cancer that they are supported,” STAND co-sponsor Melissa Caruso said. “Everyone who participated truly did ‘good deeds’ and literally caused a ‘chain reaction’ of more good deeds.”
That chain reaction came in the form of students wanting to participate after witnessing their peers volunteer for the event.
“We initially started the day with twenty participants,” Caruso said. “But as the lunch periods went on, more and more students and staff members wanted to participate. They weren’t getting anything in return, so it was very humbling to witness. Seeing everyone being so supportive was simply amazing.”
MCHS students currently studying cosmetology at the Grundy Area Vocational Center in Morris and staff members from Hair Cuttery in Minooka offered their talents as “stylists” for the event.
STAND originated from Friends of Rachel, which was created in memory of Rachel Scott, who was the first victim of the shooting tragedy at Columbine High School in 1999. The group follows the five tenets of Rachel’s Challenge: 1. Look for the best in others - Eliminate prejudice and bullying; 2. Dare to dream - Set goals; 3. Choose positive influences; 4. Kind words and actions; 5. Start a chain reaction of kindness and respect.
The group also gives presentations to local grade-school students and community groups to educate participants on bullying and how it impacts us all.