Sebastian hairdresser’s cut-a-thon to help cut out cancer

SEBASTIAN – A steady stream of people poured into Francesca’s Haircutters on Sebastian Boulevard Sunday looking for a new hairstyle and a chance to help others at the same time.

“She’s a brave girl,” Jane Holman said of 11-year-old Ashley Williams as the girl took a seat on the chair, waiting to have nine inches of her light brown hair lopped off.

Williams decided to help two groups with a single act – Locks of Love and the American Cancer Society.

Holman is the community representative for the Indian River County American Cancer Society units, helping individual teams raise money and awareness through the annual Relay For Life campaign.

In less than half an hour, Williams’ hair was chopped, washed, dried and styled, giving her a whole new look.

“It’s better for the summer,” the pre-teen said of having shorter hair. “And it’ll be easier to wash.”

This was the second time she’d donated her tresses to Locks of Love, a charity that makes wigs of real hair for cancer patients.

“I’m excited she’s doing it for a great cause,” her mom, Diana, said.

For four hours on Sunday, when the salon is normally closed, people lined up and waited to get a $10 haircut, knowing that 100 percent of the proceeds were going to go to the American Cancer Society through the Sebastian Charter Junior High School’s Relay For Life team.

Team Captain Debbie Chorma talked her good friend Francesca Runion into the cut-a-thon to help her team raise money – no arm-twisting required.

“She’s got a great heart,” Chorma said of Runion.

In less than two hours, the salon had clipped 25 people’s hair. By the end of the day, they raised more than $700.

Holman said she came out to the cut-a-thon for two reasons. One was to show the American Cancer Society’s support, bringing balloons and a banner and provide other assistance.

The other reason was a little more personal.

“I needed a haircut!” she said.

Francesca’s Haircutters plans to hold a second cut-a-thon next Sunday, April 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The salon is located at 971 Sebastian Blvd., Sebastian.

Indian River County boasts three Relay For Life events – the first was last month at the Citrus Bowl at Vero Beach High School.

The Relay For Life of North Indian River County will be held at Sharks Stadium at Sebastian River High School on April 30.

The Relay For Life of The Beaches will be held at Riverside Park in Vero Beach on April 8.

For more information about Relay For Life, visit

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