Since Bellefonte Area Middle School science teacher Jim Nye started growing out his hair about two years ago, Kim Van Buskirk has made it her mission to get him a haircut.
“I told him, ‘I’ll donate $100 to a charity of your choice if you take that off,’” said Van Buskirk, the school’s counseling secretary and student council co-adviser.
And on Thursday morning, Nye’s hair was cut.
As part of an effort for Bellefonte’s Mini Thon and to raise money for the Four Diamonds fund, Nye agreed to get his hair cut and beard trimmed by the student and faculty member who helped raise the most money.
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BAMS raised about $500 for Four Diamonds fund, Thon
Van Buskirk raised $100, and eighth-grade student Kaitlyn Berkey raised $150. As a school, about $500 was raised.
“I just asked friends and family — a lot of my family lives in State College and know what a good cause Thon is,” Berkey said.
Bellefonte Area Mini-Thon is modeled after Penn State’s IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, which annually raises money for the Four Diamonds fund at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and helps benefit children and families affected by childhood cancer.
Nye said the hair-growing process started in October 2015. In June, he also started growing out his beard.
I run in a lot of races for charity and usually dye my hair the color associated with that charity, like green for Lyme disease or (teal) for ovarian cancer. So this kind of fits the whole mission
Jim Nye, BAMS science teacher
“I run in a lot of races for charity and usually dye my hair the color associated with that charity, like green for Lyme disease or (teal) for ovarian cancer,” he said. “So this kind of fits the whole mission.”
And the more his hair grew, the more nicknames he got, including Moses, Noah and Jesus.
In the middle of the school’s gymnasium, and in front of the eighth-grade class, Nye sat in a chair with a thick head of hair and a grizzly beard.
The first clip went to Van Buskirk, who chopped off part of Nye’s beard. The next went to Kaitlyn, who took an electric razor to Nye’s curly brown hair.
Dana Antonuccio, of Twisted Scissors Dezigns, shaved the rest of Nye’s beard and styled his hair.
“I’ve been doing this a long time and gotten some compliments and some not so good responses, but in the end it was for a really good cause and became a theme to raise awareness,” Nye said.