Igloo camping, bad haircuts impress charitable students and teachers

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 9:17 AM

Jamie Lampros, Standard-Examiner Correspondent

OGDEN — Allie Bawdon couldn’t wait to see her teacher’s bald head.

“I am so excited. He is going to look so weird,” she said.

Bawdon and her classmates at St. Joseph High School attended an assembly Friday morning to watch five of their teachers get a variety of haircuts, from a mohawk to a monk style.

“My mom’s going to be so happy,” said teacher Corbin Johnson, who received a reverse mohawk cut.

Johnson and fellow teachers Shane Reinhard, Cameron Wood, Kevin Fendrick and Aaron Ulle, along with principal Patrick Lambert, agreed to grow out their beards for a little longer than a month. Students voted for their favorite beards by donating food and paper products to the teacher’s classroom. The teacher with the most votes got to keep his hair. The other four weren’t so lucky.

Fendrick was the first-place winner. Wood received a mohawk, Reinhard got a monk cut and Ulle was completely shaven.

“I wanted Mr. Fendrick to win,” said student Bryant Eddie. “He normally shaves his head so it wouldn’t have been that big of a surprise, but now he gets to keep it all.”

All of the food and paper products will go to St. Anne’s Homeless Shelter. Stacey Gallegos, who works in the development office at the shelter, told the students people are grateful to receive the donated meals.

“We serve about 55,000 meals a year and the numbers are increasing,” Gallegos said. “About 2,000 cans of food feed people for about one and a half weeks.”

Gallegos told the students the shelter is housing 14 families right now, in addition to dozens of single folks. She said they are homeless for various reasons, including job loss.

In addition to the haircuts, three of the teachers and Lambert camped out in the cold Thursday night to experience what it’s like to be homeless.

“It was really hard,” Wood said. “I got about two hours of sleep, tops. You don’t realize how vulnerable you are and the noises around you that disrupt your sleep. The snow plow came through at 3 a.m., we heard cars and snow falling off the gymnasium roof. What if you had to do this every day?”

Wood also said as he lay awake in the freezing temperatures, he reflected on how lucky he was to be able to take a hot shower, eat a hot meal and sleep in a warm bed.

“I woke up and needed to use the bathroom,” Reinhard said. “It was easy for me to walk into the building and do that, but homeless people don’t have that luxury; just walking inside the building was like heaven. It was only 63 degrees inside, but it was so warm compared to the outside.”

Johnson built an igloo where he slept.

“My head was exposed, though, and all I could think of was how cold it was and what if it snows or rains. As long as I was sleeping, it was OK, but the minute I woke up, I realized how cold it was. Our clothes were frozen solid when we got up at 6:30.”

Lambert told the students he was proud of their charitable spirits.

“You’ve really shown a lot of character,” he said. “Forty to 50 years from now, you probably won’t remember the gifts you received, but you’ll always remember the gifts you gave to someone else.”

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