COLORADO SPRINGS — Harrison "Harry" Sears was on a mission to go bald with the help of his friends. Why did he decide do this - and on live television, no less?
"It's for a great cause. [It has an] enormous impact in the community," he said.
Sears is a junior at Rampart High School. And on Friday morning, he helped kick off his school's annual "Bald 4 Bucks" event.This student-driven, grassroots event at Rampart High School has grown to be a record-breaking fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).
Ever since the event started 14 years ago, students have helped donate more than $427,000 to LLS, which is critical in funding research. B4B has also donated more than $23,000 to local hero families who have a child battling cancer.
"It's really about the people who have it worse than us and people we need to show caring for and make an impact to," Sears explained. "And we just want to support everybody who's going through this tough time."
This year, four elementary schools and a middle school will participate. Students, staff, and parents will be shaving their heads or donating their hair to make wigs for children with cancer experiencing hair loss.
220 students total will be going under the razor, starting with Sears.
Throughout our different live segments on News5 Today, Sears' friends helped shave off different patches of hair. With each passing segment, the razor brought him closer to complete baldness.
When it was time for the grand finale at 6:30 a.m., there was just one final, Mohawk-esque strip of hair left on top Sears' scalp. As soon as it flew off, and his friend gave his scalp a pass of the hand, I handed him a mirror so he could take a first look.
He let out a laugh through the excitement and disbelief of peering down at his new do.
"Wow! Oh wow," Sears blurted out with a smile.
Each participant who signs up for B4B pledges to raise at least $25. Some raise much more, while others, give up more. Volunteers like Harrison Sears give up their entire mane.
And even though "Harry" isn't as hairy anymore, he's thrilled his new look will raise awareness about childhood cancer.
"It's an amazing impact that we can have on the community," he emphasized. "So I'm really happy about it."
This year, the goal is to raise $73,000. That would make B4B the first school fundraising program to donate $500,000 to LLS.
If you'd like to donate, you can drop off a cash or check at Rampart High School. You can also donate online here.