DeLaSalle alum has a price on her head

| Josie Bungert for The Catholic Spirit | July 16, 2014 | 0 Comments

Maddie Hodapp donates hair at Cuts for a Cause event

Sedrick McBounds, a barber in Minneapolis, cuts the hair of Maddie Hodapp during Cuts for a Cause at De La Salle High School in Minneapolis. Jim Bovin / For The Catholic Spirit

Sedrick McBounds, a barber in Minneapolis, cuts the hair of Maddie Hodapp during Cuts for a Cause at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis. Jim Bovin / For The Catholic Spirit

Maddie Hodapp has always wanted to help people. Fresh out of college, she is doing just that — in both a recent fundraiser she hosted and her upcoming post-graduate plans.

While a student at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Hodapp saw students who were shaving their heads for cancer awareness, and it struck a cord with her, as her grandmother died from breast cancer before she was born.

“I’ve always connected with her spiritually,” Hodapp said. “My mom has always said I had parts of her . . . I guess who I am and what I believe in all came in this event.”

That event was Cuts for a Cause, which took place July 12 at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis.

Even though she wanted to raise money for breast cancer, Hodapp, a DeLaSalle alum, wanted to do more than donate. So, she chose a local charity, Hope Chest for Breast Cancer, to receive all the proceeds from the event.

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer takes the money it receives and gives it annually to hospitals and treatment centers for cancer. It also has two consignment stores — one in St. Paul and one in Orono — full of donated clothing and furniture. Each store provides affordable, high-end items to the community, and proceeds from each are added to the donations that Hope Chest makes.

“I liked their story and how they’re actually giving to the women directly,” Hodapp said.

Cuts for a Cause began with speakers and a variety of performers, followed by a meal that was donated and, the main event, hair donation.

While proceeds from Cuts for a Cause are going to Hope Chest for Breast Cancer, the donated hair will be made into wigs through Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a partnership between the hair care products brand and the American Cancer Society. Minnesota barber Sedrick McBounds cut the hair of Hodapp and others, like Ana Santos, who donated 10 inches of hair, saying it felt “excellent” because she knows it’s going to heal people.

This event was also made possible by Hodapp’s mom, Peg, who works in campus ministry at DeLaSalle. With her experience in planning events, assemblies and liturgies, Peg helped find performers, and made suggestions. But ultimately, it was Maddie who did the legwork.

“I’ve put it in her hands because she’s really capable of it,” Peg said.

In her opening remarks at the event, Maddie said she hopes she is making her grandmother proud. Peg described her as always calm, and a lot like Maddie.

“She never got mad. She was just an amazing person, and we could always learn so much from her,” Peg said. “But she was always very reserved. Maddie pulls a lot of those characteristics. This whole idea is very beautiful, and I’m really proud of her.”

Maddie’s urge to serve others will not stop with the fundraiser. In a few weeks, she will leave for Portland, Ore., to do a year of service for the Lasallian Volunteers, whose mission is to give a quality education to people less fortunate. Maddie will be the coordinator for a mission program at a high school.

Maddie hopes this will give her the chance to reconnect with her faith, which she thinks went by the wayside while in college.

“Being college student[s], a lot of times, we disconnect from our faith because we are somewhere else, busy,” she said.

But it’s not just about reconnecting with her faith; it’s learning how to do it on her own. Her mother couldn’t hope for anything more for her daughter as she leaves for her next adventure of service.

“She hasn’t been as connected to her faith in college; she’s always had spirituality,” Peg said. “The fact that she joined this Catholic organization is a sign for me that it still has a lot of meaning in her life, and I know that she’s excited that it’s coming back to her.”

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Category: Featured, The Last Word