TOLEDO - Several University of Toledo football players will be sacrificing their hair for a good cause – a former Rocket’s battle against cancer.
Seniors Zac Kerin and Vince Penza, along with juniors Greg Mancz, Josh Hendershot and Rob Lisowski, will shave their heads after practice on Thursday to help support former UT women’s basketball player Ashlee Barrett. Barrett, who is battling leukemia, is the fiancée of one of their former teammates-- defensive end Ben Pike. Pike recently chose to forgo his final season on the UT football team in order to help support Ashlee.
The five players have started a Facebook page and a Fundly.com account to request donations based on the number of inches of hair cut off. The cut hair will be donated to the Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under the age of 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.
“It shows we are like a family,” said Mancz. “As teammates, we care about each other and love each other. Ben is like a brother. We would do anything for him.”
Added Pike, “It means so much to the both of us. For them to do that when their long hair has become a symbol for the offensive line speaks to the type of guys they are and how much a teammate means to them. It is truly a family atmosphere that has been built on our team. I love all those guys. They have been so supportive of Ashlee and me through this whole situation.”
Donations can be made online beginning on April 10 through a Fundly.com account that has been established for Ashlee. Click here to donate. Donations for Ashlee can also be made though the Fifth Third Bank Ashlee Barrett Fund/Northeast Ohio 9875 Jonnycake Ridge Rd Mentor, OH.