A Great Neck student is raising cancer awareness by using her head -- literally.
Katie Tan, a junior at Great Neck South High School, is coordinating an April fundraiser for the St. Baldrick's Foundation in which members of the school community pledge to have their heads shaved in exchange for monetary sponsorship by family and friends. The effort is meant to show solidarity with children who lose their hair during cancer treatment.
Tan's inaugural fundraiser last year attracted 30 people and brought in more than $12,000. She was inspired to coordinate the event after raising $3,000 for the cause as a freshman.
"It's always amazing to see how willing people are to help when you show you're passionate about a cause," said Tan, 16.
This year, she is inviting participants who don't want to go bald to donate hair for a wig or to get highlights in colors associated with cancer awareness, such as pink for breast cancer. To spread the word, she created a "street team" to promote the April 8 event.
Tan is vice president of the school's Students Putting an End to Cancer Club. She also is treasurer of the Contemporary Music Club, and a member of Student Government and the Global Angels, which raises awareness to help prevent sex trafficking.