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Girl shorns her locks out of love for others

December 29, 2005

Mackenzie Riford, 12, had her hair cut Friday, donating her long blond hair to Locks of Love, a nonprofit group that makes wigs for financially disadvantaged children who have lost their hair because of illness.

The haircut took place at Blondy and Company on Opal Court in Hagerstown. Hairstylist Sharon Ricker did the honors, and saved a foot-long pony tail of Mackenzie's hair.

The hair will be shipped off to the charity.

Mackenzie said she heard about the organization more than a year ago, and waited until this year for her hair to be long enough to donate. She made the appointment on her own, telling her father afterward that her mind was made up.

"I wanted to do this, because I lost my grandmother to cancer, and I wanted to help somebody who'd lost their hair fighting a disease," she said. "I know that if I were in a situation where I had lost my hair, I would want someone to do the same for me."

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"She surprised me, telling me out of the blue about the appointment she'd made on her own," said her father, Tom Riford.

"I support her decision, and admire her selflessness, especially at Christmas time."

Mackenzie is a seventh-grader at Grace Academy. Her hair had reached midway down her back, and now doesn't reach her collar.

For more information, see www.locksoflove.org on the Web.

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