Cancer Council Queensland’s fundraising campaign, the Ponytail Project, has kicked off for 2020, and this year is its biggest yet. From humble beginnings as a school fundraiser in 2015 held by students at St Margaret’s school, the campaign was quickly adopted by students across Queensland, and now the movement is chopping ponytails nation-wide.

Raising over $450,000 in its lifespan, the Ponytail Project invites students to grow their hair, then chop it off to raise funds to support those impacted by cancer through research, prevention programs, and support services. Ponytail Project 2020 ambassador Quinn Venz said rocking the chop in 2019 was a special experience. “I signed up to the Ponytail Project because I’ve seen first-hand how devastating cancer can be for a person and their friends and family,” Ms Venz said. “When I learned the Ponytail Project was all about celebrating bravery and raising money for those impacted by cancer, it was really just a matter of convincing my mum to let me cut my hair! I originally planned to rock the chop by myself, until the Ponytail Project team suggested getting my school involved. From there, over 75 students and a few teachers participated, the whole school got behind us, and we raised over $25,000! It became so much bigger than I imagined, the atmosphere was truly amazing, and I was so proud of my peers for helping me make a difference.”

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said the Ponytail Project is a great way for students to learn about cancer and create positive change for those experiencing it.  “Not only does the Ponytail Project provide a way for students to raise funds for the work of Cancer Council Queensland,” Ms McMillan said. “The Ponytail Project also gives students the opportunity to learn about the impacts of cancer, including ways to reduce their own cancer risk through making healthy lifestyle choices from early on in life. We encourage more teens and more schools to come on board, rock the chop and help us get closer to a cancer free future.”

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