UNION COUNTY — Colin Sass, a freshman at the Academy for Performing Arts in Scotch Plains, recently donated 11 inches of hair to Locks of Love.
Eighteen months ago, after reading The Guinness Book of World Records, Sass told his mom, Hope Blecher, he wanted to go for the record. Sass began letting his buzz cut grow. From less than ½ an inch to 11 inches, Julie and Christina of Choice Hair Designs in Clark have trimmed and maintained his brown wavy mohawk. Reading about the length set in the new record books, Sass reconsidered the world record and revised his goal. Now, to coincide with his participation in Relay for Life, a project of the American Cancer Society, Sass is also helping others by shaving his hair.
According to Sass, either way his hair was going to get shaved off so rather than having it swept into the garbage it should be put to good use. His mom mentioned Locks of Love. Sass had heard of Locks of Love but it’s usually girls who cut their hair. This time, he’s literally on the cutting edge, a local teen having his hair cut to help others. After all, he can always grow it again, although for the time being, Sass says he will be clean shaven.
Looking back, Sass’s hair has been his trademark for the past six years. When he was a child, Blecher would have his thick head of hair buzzed each summer because of the heat and sweat. As Sass got older, he voiced his opinion. At a time even when it wasn’t such a popular fad to have a tail, Sass grew one. Out of respect and love for his Poppa Lou, Sass let his mom cut it off when his grandpa passed away. Two years later, in celebration of his rite of passage, his Bar Mitzvah, Sass worked with Christina and Julie to have a Star of David buzzed into the nape of his hair at his neckline. Now, in 2013, after 18 months of growth, Sass is embracing the slogan, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Julie and Christina each shared their impressions about Sass and this project. According to Julie, “After more than 15 years in this business it is great to see a young man like Colin take an interest in helping others in such a personal way. Knowing him as I do, it’s not surprising that he’s doing Locks of Love and Relay for Life; it’s just who he is and it’s what he does.”
Christina summed it up this way when she said this about their buddy and client, “The definition of a random act of kindness is a selfless act performed by a person or people wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual person or people. We believe that Colin is an amazing example of this!”
Sass’s father, step-mom and older sister also support his donation to Locks of Love and participation in Relay for Life. They are among many who hope that one day there will be a cure for cancer. Although unable to be on site to see her brother’s haircut, Loren, who’s studying abroad, had this to say when she heard about her brother’s good deed, “”After participating in Relay for Life throughout my years in high school, I could not be happier that Colin is donating his hair to Locks of Love, and continuing the fight against cancer.”
Finally, Sass’s involvement in Relay for Life and Locks of Love has been supported not only by family but also by people at his high school, as well. Among those sharing their comments are his principal, Dr. Scott Rubin who had this to say about Sass, “It is so important for individuals to think globally and get involved in the community. The Academy for Performing Arts (APA) is so proud of Colin for doing something that will greatly benefit others.”
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