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In Indiana, the Valparaiso High School baseball team recently brought in $1,000 by partnering with a local salon for a fundraiser. 

Similar to many other high school baseball programs, Valparaiso (Ind.) High School requires players to be clean-cut prior to suiting up for the team. A few years ago, Head Coach Dave Coyle came up with an idea that would help the players get off to a good start--and raise money for the baseball program at the same time.
 
"I'm also the head football coach here and that team sells discount cards," he says. "They work great when you have 180 kids, but we have less for baseball. Plus, it's the end of the school year when our season starts-- two sport seasons have already gone through, so the community has been asked to help support athletics a lot by that point.

"A few years ago, we got the idea of holding a Cut-A-Thon, where people can walk in and get their hair cut for $15," Coyle continues. "Each year, a salon's employees have donated their time to the event, so 100 percent of the profit comes back to our team."

This year's Cut-A-Thon ran from 1:00 to 5:00 on Sunday, March 10. "I feel so honored that the women who work at the salon give up a Sunday afternoon for our team," Coyle says. "There aren't many people who will say, 'We're not going to be paid today--we just want to help you out.'"

An assistant coach's wife does most of the planning for the event, starting a few months in advance. "She arranges everything with the salon and goes to different businesses to get items for us to raffle off at the Cut-A-Thon," Coyle says. "Then the team makes sure that items are delivered to the winners if they didn't wait until 5:00 for the drawing."

Advertising the event goes mostly through word of mouth. "We ask our baseball players and their families to get the word out," Coyle says. "And we put flyers up throughout the school and send e-mail messages through the school's listserve. We had several teachers who came in as a result, so it worked well. People don't mind helping with our fundraiser since they're getting something out of it, too."
 
Preparations within the salon were made the night before the event. "This year, the salon that offered to host the Cut-A-Thon usually caters to children who are having their hair cut for the first time," Coyle says. "So we brought in adult-sized chairs that another salon let us borrow. All of the hairdressers came in the night before to get the shop set up the way they wanted. When the event was over, the coaching staff took everything down and moved it back.
 
"We feel proud that we're bringing money in to help our kids go to games and have top-notch equipment," he continues. "And the parents like this fundraiser because it keeps them from driving their kids around to sell things."  



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