A shave of supportPublished 11:53am Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Six boys at Alexander City Middle School shaved their heads. It’s not a fashion statement or a gang symbol – it’s a show of support for their classmate and friend.
When the boys – who now call themselves The Bald Bandits – found out their friend Benjamin Hendrix was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma, Dec. 4, they said shaving their heads was just the right thing to do.
“He’d do it for us,” Tyler Watts said.
The boys – all seventh graders – include Tyler, Wilson Harris, Carson Dark, Anderson Radney, Dylan Adamson and Jared Greene. Four of them went to the barbershop at the same time and got to shave each other’s heads.
Tyler said Benjamin thought they were silly for doing
Benjamin’s father, Bill Hendrix, had a different story to tell.
“We were blown away by that act of support from young men, 12 and 13 years old,” Bill said, adding that his son had “a big ol’ smile on his face” when he heard.
The Bald Bandits said they have gotten a lot of questions from people about why they shaved their heads, and they receive different responses when they explain.
“They think it’s pretty cool,” Jared said.
“They feel bad for making fun of us,” Carson added.
The boys plan to keep their heads shaved until Benjamin is back in action “so he wouldn’t be left out with a shaved head,” Dylan said.
Shaved heads have been making their way across the community in support of Benjamin.
Other classmates have joined the effort, as well as the middle school soccer coach, Jared’s dad and some of Bill’s friends, Bill said.
Benjamin, who is the grandson of Ben and Luanne Russell, has also received cards from students throughout the Alexander City School system.
The Bald Bandits are part of a bigger picture.
“I can’t just stress enough the sense of community and support that we’ve had,” Bill said. “It’s been very humbling.”