I recently had the honor of attending the 10th anniversary of the Pantene Beautiful Lengths event here in Northwest Arkansas. As part of #NWAChampionship week, the Pantene Beautiful Lengths ponytail cutting event unfolded Monday night at the Walmart AMP. This year P&G, in partnership with the LPGA Tournament, set a goal of 1,000 donations in celebration of the 10th anniversary. That’s up from 669 donations in 2015! Businesses and organizations across NW Arkansas joined together and took the pledge to give hope through hair. Research has shown that one in three women will be affected by cancer at some point in their life. The hair that is donated through the Beautiful Lengths program goes to make real hair wigs for those people battling cancer. All wigs are given to recipients free of charge through the American Cancer Society Wig Bank and many stay right here in our community.
I arrived to the event a little early to check out the transformation of the Walmart AMP in Rogers, which is normally a concert venue. With tons of balloons, a pink carpet, and pink lemonade, it was quite the celebration.
As I walked around, I ran into a few people I knew like my friend Cathy who volunteered as a stylist.
I also stopped to chat with some of the donors, like Shea Newport who was donating her hair for the third time. When I asked what inspired her to give, she told me about her friend who is a new mom to a 3-month-old-baby, but is also battling stage-four lung cancer, despite never being a smoker. It was so powerful to see all the donors in pink shirts, knowing that they were inspired in some way, each with their own story.
Shea Newport, with a supporting friend
As the event got underway, Mindy Sherwood, VP, P&G Walmart Team, first spoke about the impact of the program. As of 2015, the campaign has received more than 800,000 donations, which has provided 54,000 real-hair wigs to women battling cancer (it takes between 8-15 ponytails to create one wig). Mindy announced that this year they not only met their goal of 1,000 donations, but surpassed it with over 1,300 hair donors! Joined by Michelle Gloeckler, Executive VP at Walmart, and Morgan Pressel and Natalie Gulbis of the LPGA on stage, the group helped lead the “kindest cut” live on stage.
While hundreds of people donated their hair ahead of the event, over 300 brave souls signed up to have their hair cut on stage. On a count of three, ponytails went flying. There were cheers, applause, and maybe even a Hog call. While I’m not eligible to be a donor (you must have at least 8 inches of untreated hair), it was really something special to watch women, men, and even kids literally give a piece of themselves to help others.
Want to learn a little more about the Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign in Northwest Arkansas? Below is a short video that tells about the history of the program and if you’d like to get involved, visit www.beautifullengthsnwa.com to sign up.
This is a sponsored post.