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November 22, 2017 05:01 PM

O'Gorman Students Shave Their Heads For Teacher Battling Cancer

An O'Gorman High School teacher, who's battling cancer, is overwhelmed by the show of generosity from students and staff Wednesday.  They shaved their heads as part of a benefit that raised thousands of dollars for Julie Benson and her family.

O'Gorman chemistry teacher Julie Benson has been diagnosed twice with Colorectal cancer.  Two weeks ago, she underwent major abdominal surgery in Omaha and believes she's now cancer-free.

Her recovery received a big financial boost with Wednesday's fundraiser.

The event was part pep rally and part hair salon appointment.  Ten chairs, no waiting.  The ten O'Gorman students and staff couldn't, at first, wrap their heads around their shaved heads.

"I think I kind of look like a little kid, but I'll deal with it.  It will grow back," O'Gorman freshman Thomas Clinton said.

The goal was to raise $7,000 for teacher Julie Benson and her family.  But the tallies just kept climbing and climbing..

"Oh my gosh!  I can't believe it goes up and up and up," Benson said.

The total surpassed $20,000, almost three times what the school expected.

"We said at the beginning that we wanted to have a lot of fun, and we have, and we wanted to raise a lot of money, and we have," O'Gorman Assistant Principal Alex Anderson said.

PERRY GROTEN:  Once all the clumps hit the stage floor, this is what's left: a pile of multi-colored hair, each strand represents a strong bond between all the members of Team Benson.

"Unbelievable that there's so many people out there that support and pray for me, and I appreciate it so much," Benson said.

"A lot of things were going through my mind, just should I have done this?  But I know that it is for a good cause," Clinton said.

As she heals from her latest surgery, Benson is already making plans to return to the classroom after the holidays, if not sooner.  A recovery that's been inspired by the students and staff who were willing to take more than just a little off the top, on her behalf.

"They think pretty highly of me which is awesome, I appreciate it so much," Benson said.

The school provided caps to wear for the students who were too self-conscience about their shaved heads.  The caps were courtesy of Love Your Melon, a non-profit that raises money for cancer research.


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  • SD
  • Sioux Falls
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