GREEN: When the planning committee met for the third annual Bulldog Dash in October, the challenge sounded like a good idea.
If the students could raise $40,000 in pledges for the 5K charity race, Green Primary School Principal Scott Shank would shave his head in full view of the students at an assembly.
“I don’t actually remember who came up with the idea, but it could have been me,” Shank admitted earlier this week.
On Thursday, Shank made good on the promise.
The children, with the help of corporate sponsors and the Lou Rawls Foundation, reached their goal, earning a record amount that Shank said will help provide students with a top-notch educational experience.
“I am a man of my word,” Shank told the students. “If you say you are going to do it, you do it.”
Local barber and stylist Phil Ridgeway, better known as Phabulous Phil, was on hand to do the honors, delighting the 900 students and many of their parents as the high school pep band brought drama and drum rolls to the event.
Ridgeway, owner of Phabulous Phil’s Barber Styling Shop in Green, is an entertainer who has played saxophone and stand-up bass in the band Phil ’n the Blanks since the mid-1980s. He kept the children shouting with laughter while they saw their principal dressed in a colorful, child-sized drape as Ridgeway cut his hair into weird stripes and a reverse Mohawk.
“The louder you are, the closer these clippers are going to get to his head,” Ridgeway told the children as the screams became deafening.
Before his finale, Ridgeway invited third-graders Kylie Gorsuch and Mallory Crabtree, both 8, to finish the job — shaving the last of Shank’s locks that Ridgeway had styled into devil-like horns.
“Well, hair only grows about half an inch a month,” Ridgeway said. “After I walk out of there, he’s on his own.”
Before the assembly, Shank, 31, noted that, “I’m fortunate enough that my hair still grows. It’ll come back.”
The race, which is the only major fundraiser for Green Primary School and Greenwood Early Learning Center, also promotes healthy lifestyles, Shank said. Both schools will benefit with new classroom materials, technology enhancement, student programs and instructional resources.
“The money will be going back to the students,” he said.
Shank, who ran the Bulldog Dash with his father, Blaine Shank of Wadsworth, said he prepared for baldness well in advance of Thursday’s assembly.
“My wife and I made sure we got our Christmas photos done earlier,” he said.
Kathy Antoniotti can be reached at 330-996-3565 or email@example.com.