Community heart

Published 8:40 am Friday, August 21, 2009

Never lacking concern for their fellow man, area residents crammed into Fred’s Restaurant downtown Wednesday night, ready to chop their locks off for a great cause.

The hair cut-a-thon, sponsored by Bucks & Does Salon and Spa in Courtland, was to benefit Larry Shaffer and family.

Shaffer, a longtime International Paper Co. employee and Franklin resident, recently had a tumor removed from his brain and is now facing radiation treatments.

His mounting medical bills prompted friends to help the family, which includes wife Cherene and three kids, Chase, 12, Kimberly, 10, and Shelby, 7.

“Larry is a loving husband, devoted father to three kids and an all-around great guy,” the flier advertising the cut-a-thon read. “For many years he’s been there to help others. Now he and his family need our support.”

And support they did.

Besides Bucks & Does, there were stylists from Salon on Fifth and Hair Designs. Two technicians from KV Nails did nails. Wayne Cook and buddy spinned tunes while about 70 people got their hair cut.

In all, the event raised nearly $1,400 for the family.

When the money was handed over to Larry and his wife, they hugged. She wept. The people surrounding them beamed.

“Thank you so much,” he said. “We’ve very grateful. I’m just ready for this nightmare to be over already.”

The cut-a-thon was another testament to the creativity and generosity of the Franklin/Southampton/Isle of Wight communities.

When someone here is in need, others gather to gladly help.

We’ve seen it in barbecues and motorcycle rallys, relays and festivals.

And we saw it at Fred’s in downtown Franklin on Wednesday.