St Margaret's Ponytail Project raises over $90,000 for cancer

Almost 100 St Margaret's students, six teachers, and two dogs cut their ponytails on Tuesday 2 August to raise funds for cancer.

The students and their furry friends raised over $90,000, adding to an eight-year tally that has now exceeded half a million dollars in donations to the Cancer Council Queensland and the Minotti Trust (established to support the family of a St Margaret’s staff member who lost her life to cancer).

As for the ponytails, they have been made into countless wigs for patients suffering hair loss.

St Margaret’s school dog, Luna, and Head of Primary Mrs Drysdale’s dog Daisy joined the cause for the first time this year, with both cavoodles being clippered and coiffed by local groomer CC’s Pampered Pups while the students’ ponytails were cut by hairdressers Ink For Hair. Luna raised over $700 towards the overall fundraising total.

The Ponytail Project was first launched in 2015 by four St Margaret’s students after a member of the school community was diagnosed with cancer. The students were so moved to help, they launched the student-led fundraising initiative called the Ponytail Project, believing that cutting off their ponytails for charity was a small price to pay to support those impacted by cancer.

Sadly, in 2016, St Margaret’s students had even more reason to support the cause after the loss of one of their beloved teachers, who was also a past student, to cancer.

The groundswell of support in its first two years fuelled the drive for the Ponytail Project to become an annual campaign for the St Margaret’s community and, in 2019, the movement was encouraged in schools state-wide after being adopted by Cancer Council Queensland.

Principal Ros Curtis said that giving is a part of the culture at St Margaret’s.

“We encourage our students to develop the practice of lifelong giving through philanthropic activities like the Ponytail Project.

“These opportunities empower the girls to experience how their actions can make a positive difference in the lives of others and inspires them to continue on a journey of giving into their adult lives.

“The Ponytail Project requires the girls to do much more than fundraise and donate money though. It requires the girls to give something of themselves – to donate their own hair.

“I am immensely proud of their willingness to do this in today’s age of technology and social media, where much emphasis can be placed on a young woman’s appearance,” Ms Curtis said.

Cancer Council Queensland General Manager, Fundraising, Marketing and Communication, Ms Meaghan Bush, congratulated the students on another amazing effort, “We are so grateful to St Margaret’s for their unparalleled support of the Ponytail Project since bringing it to life in 2015.”

“Every ponytail chopped makes an incredible impact, with funds raised going towards lifesaving cancer research and essential support services such as counselling, accommodation, and transport services for people living with cancer,” Ms Bush said.