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Women shed hair as part of fundraising efforts

WILLMAR -- In a coffee house packed so tight with teens and adults that some people just stood outside and looked through the windows, four women had their hair cut for charity Friday night.

WILLMAR -- In a coffee house packed so tight with teens and adults that some people just stood outside and looked through the windows, four women had their hair cut for charity Friday night.

The event culminated efforts by 18-year-olds Jenna Kolstad and Janine Kidd to raise money for Rice Hospice over the last five months.

Their goal was to raise $5,000.

By Friday night, the donations had reached nearly $7,000.

Once the $5,000 goal was reached, the two said they would also donate their hair.

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Kolstad's hair is going to Locks of Love, which uses donated hair to make wigs for cancer patients. Kidd's dreadlocks, which she's sported for three years, were sold Friday night to individuals, with the money going to Hospice.

Two other women, Lori Tusa and Laura Becker, both of Willmar, also donated their hair to Locks of Love.

The crowd of family and friends watched as the women's hair was cut at LuLu Beans Coffee House, showing support for the women's personal generosity and pitching in money to help the donations grow.

Both Kolstad and Kidd work at LuLu Beans. Their bosses, Laure and Jack Swanson, fully endorsed and participated in the fundraising efforts.

While getting a new hairdo from one of three JC Penny hairstylists who donated their services, Kolstad was glowing with pleasure at how well the fundraising efforts turned out. "I feel really good. It's so cool to have all my friends and fam here."

"We're pretty proud of her. She worked really hard on this," said Jenna's father, Kris.

Participating in the fundraising efforts "made me more aware of opportunities to help others," said Kidd as her mother, Wendy, tried combing out the snarls in her daughter's hair. She said it was "amazing" to see people continue to bring in cash and checks throughout the evening for Hospice.

Leslie Erickson, director or Rice Hospice, had a front row seat to watch the four women get their hair cut. "I think it's just incredible that these young girls took this on and saw it through," Erickson said. "We appreciate it so much."

Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at clange@wctrib.com or 320-894-9750
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