As evidenced by the Viking helmets, sombreros, and other unique headgear worn by students at Convocation and Pumpkin Parade, hats are a special part of Randolph’s traditions. This month, a special hat drive is feeding into another campus tradition—the Even and Odd class rivalry.
The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is currently holding a competitive hat drive between the Evens and Odds to benefit Ellie’s Hats. Donations boxes are in the Main Hall lobby through October 30, and the side that donates the most hats will earn a prize that has yet to be announced.
Ellie’s Hats is a Virginia-based charity that began as a collection of unique hats for a young leukemia patient, Ellie, who lost her hair during treatment. The various hats helped Ellie regain confidence and express her personality. Now, Ellie’s Hats is providing head apparel for other young cancer patients across the country.
Leah Hughes ’17, a member of SAAC, said Randolph’s hat drive is a perfect opportunity for students to share their own personalities through their donations. Faculty and staff are also invited to participate by donating to the class box of their choice.
“So many people on our campus have been affected by cancer,” Hughes said. “My own grandfather was diagnosed with blood cancer, so that definitely motivated me to show my dedication to cancer research, finding a cure, and really acknowledging how people are affected by cancer. It doesn’t just affect the person diagnosed-it also affects the family and friends.”
Ellie’s Hats drive is an extension of the athletics department’s annual cancer awareness games. Hughes and the Randolph women’s soccer team are wearing tie-dye shirts during warm-ups before their match tonight versus Guilford to raise awareness for ovarian and breast cancer.
“With this hat drive, we really wanted to incorporate people who aren’t on athletic teams and give them a chance to show just as much passion as we do about cancer awareness,” Hughes said. “This is a way for all of us, athletes and non-athletes, to come together as one group to give back to those affected by cancer.”
So far, the Evens hold a strong lead in donations over the Odds and have accumulated a diverse collection, including hats featuring Cookie Monster and Doc McStuffins (a popular children’s character). Hughes is working to orchestrate a comeback for the Odd classes and hopes students will return from fall break with more donations. Several teams plan to decorate and customize hats as a bonding activity as well.
For more information on Ellie’s Hats, visit http://www.ellieshats.org/Tags: cancer awareness games, Even and Odd rivalry, hat drive, Leah Hughes, student-athletes