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May 2024

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Photos by E. Wilde Michael Ortiz, 9 years old, gave up his long hair for the Locks of Love benefit. Shown here from left, Roger Chavez, Jr., organizer of the event (before he got his hair cut off!) and Michael's proud parents Monique and Miguel Ortiz.

Locks of Love Benefit Event Held at Village Stop & Go

In early October, Questa residents Roger Chavez Jr. and Berna Trujillo co-sponsored an event to benefit Locks of Love, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity that gives custom-made wigs to disadvantaged youth up to the age of 21 who have lost hair as a result of medical conditions such as burn trauma and cancer treatment. They accept monetary donations and also donated hair. Their mission: return a sense of self-confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children free of charge.

The Questa event was held October 9 at 2:00 pm at the Questa Village Stop & Go. Berna and Roger felt this date fitting because October is Cancer Awareness Month. Questeño and professional barber Jerome Ortega was on hand to cut Roger Chavez’s hair, which he had deliberately allowed to grow quite long for this purpose. Roger’s last haircut was three years ago! Those present at the event donated to the cause, making donations for a total of $700.

The star of the show was 9-year-old Michael Ortiz, who didn’t even attend the event—although his sheared locks did, brought by his supportive parents, Miguel and Monique Ortiz. This homeschooler (through Pecos Connection Academy) selflessly donated his long hair for others who needed it more than he did. It took him a long time to grow his hair out to a length of 18 inches, and kudos to him and his parents.

Over 50 people were in attendance—a good crowd—with folks gathering both outside and inside the Stop & Go. Food was provided by owner Berna Trujillo. To further generate funds for Locks of Love, a pool tournament was held with a $10 entry fee. Local businesses donated gift certificates for prizes and a raffle, and pool tournament prizes. These supportive businesses include My Tia’s Café, Frank’s Eats & Sweets, Questa Lumber and Hardware.

This First Annual Questa Locks of Love event was a success and plans are underway to continue next year and for years to come. Berna and Roger are still seeking monetary and hair donations. Would you want to donate your locks? Jerome will be available, so start growing your hair now and if you are tempted to cut it, just postpone it until October 2022! For further information please visit https://locksoflove.org/ or contact Roger Chavez Jr. at poolplayerrunout@yahoo.com or call (575) 224-4049.