Southern Arkansas University student Marissa Aranda shaved her hair on Saturday afternoon after helping raise about $10,000 in honor of two Arkansan boys who have battled cancer.
At about 1:15 p.m. at Riverfront Park just west of the Junction Bridge in Little Rock, Aranda, 20, of Hope, sat in a chair where a hair stylist sectioned Aranda's long brown hair into several ponytails. Dozens of Aranda's friends and family attended the event and cheered for Aranda as the stylist cut off each ponytail.
After the stylist chopped off about 13 inches of Aranda's hair, the stylist handed a razor to a young boy named Elijah Talley, 12, of Little Rock, one of the two boys Aranda helped raise money in honor of. Talley shaved about a two-inch strip of Aranda's head before handing the razor back to the stylist.
Aranda also raise donations for Creed Foster, 5, of Nashville, with her Phi Mu sorority sisters in Magnolia and the Greater Little Rock Alumnae Chapter of Phi Mu.
Foster was unable to attend the event, because he was readmitted into Arkansas Children's Hospital for his acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Aranda said she felt "at peace" while her head was being shaved, until she saw her three-year-old sister in the audience. Aranda said that is when her eyes started to tear.
"I'm just really thankful all of the support I have gotten," Aranda said.
The donations will be given to the Children's Miracle Network and to the American Childhood Cancer Organization of Arkansas.