26 September 2019
More than 70 students from St Peter’s Girls’ School ‘rocked the chop’ this week for Cancer Council’s Ponytail Project, raising vital funds to support South Australians impacted by cancer.
The Ponytail Project empowers students to make a change in the world by chopping off their ponytails to raise funds and awareness for Cancer Council SA. St Peter’s Girls’ School are South Australia’s Ponytail Project pioneers, and the first school to ‘rock the chop’ in the state.
To date, the motivated students have raised more than $27,000 to support South Australians impacted by cancer.
For Year 11 student Hattie Maerschel, the Ponytail Project was more than just a chance to cut her hair—it’s a chance to support her mum, Bec, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017.
“I underwent six months of chemotherapy followed by seven weeks of radiotherapy. I underestimated how sick the treatment would make me look and feel, and it was really confronting. I lost my hair, eyebrows, everything,” Bec said.
“I had really long hair beforehand so going through the physical transformation on top of the treatment was really hard. Looking back now, it’s the support of family and friends that got me through. Chopping off her ponytail is Hattie’s way of giving back and I’m unbelievably proud of her.”
Hattie says her family’s experience motivated her to make a difference and raise funds to support others impacted by cancer. She’s hoping that her hair will go towards a wig to help someone currently going through cancer treatment.
“This year, I’m ‘rocking the chop’ for my mum,” said Hattie.
“I didn’t know how to support her through her chemotherapy treatment and the Ponytail Project gives me a platform to do so. Rocking the chop is my way of saying “I’m doing this for you.”
St Peter’s Girls’ School Principal Julia Shea says the school is proud to be the first school involved in the Ponytail Project in South Australia.
“Supporting Cancer Council SA and their work across cancer prevention, research and support is another vital opportunity for our girls to uphold the school’s values of courage, creativity and compassion.
“It’s part of our commitment to service learning and enshrining in our girls the need to lead with integrity and kindness to improve the lives of others,” she said.
Cancer Council SA Chief Executive Lincoln Size congratulated St Peters Girls’ School on being Ponytail Project Pioneers and encouraged others to follow suit.
“The Ponytail Project enables young girls to make a difference and raise vital funds to support all South Australians impacted by cancer, and St Peter’s Girls’ School has been fantastic in leading the charge in South Australia.”
“Cutting off your ponytail might seem like a small gesture but it can make a huge difference to the lives of all those impacted by cancer, now or in the future,” he said.
If your daughter (or son) or school want to get involved, there’s still time to register and ‘rock the chop’ for a cancer free future by visiting ponytailproject.com.au.
All the money raised will go towards funding the Cancer Council SA’s research, prevention, advocacy and support programs that change lives.