Bright Spot: NFA senior shaves head for role, raises money for cancer center

NFA senior shaves head for role, raises money for cancer center
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 5:23 PM EDT
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NORWICH, Conn. (WFSB) - A senior at Norwich Free Academy not only starred in his school’s musical, but also played a role in helping other teens’ lives.

“This is the first time I think since I was an actual baby that my hair has been this short.”

Alex Zeppieri said goodbye to his locks a month ago when he shaved his head for a role and for a good cause. “My hair used to be down to here. Maybe even longer, so I’m used to having to [deal] with a lot of hair.”

The Norwich Free Academy senior was cast as the role of Daddy Warbucks in his school’s production of ‘Annie.’ “It was either wear a bald cap or shave my head, and for a long time, it was alright I’ll wear a bald cap.”

That is until the Assistant Director pitched that Alex throws a charity into it. “And I thought that was an amazing idea.”

So, Alex agreed to shave his head, and support the ‘Telesz Teen Center’ at Smilow Cancer Hospital. “Our original goal was $500 at week 1, and by week 1 we had to bump it up to $1,000 because of how fast it had grown.”

The donations were tallied and … “We broke over $1,000 which is incredible. I never thought it would gain so much traction.”

Then it was time for Alex to take center stage, in a barber chair. “It felt like hundreds of cameras there watching me getting my head shaved.”

Six fellow students got their hands on the clippers to cut Alex’s hair, including his co-star. “The person who actually raised the most was the other lead, Lily O’Neil, who played Annie. She got to do the bulk of it because she had the biggest donation.”

After all was said and done, Alex had grown a sense of accomplishment, and his advice to others who are thinking of doing a charitable act… “Jump in headfirst because there’s a chance that it’ll go bad, but 9 times out of 10 there is such a good payoff at the end of it.”

In Alex’s case, the payoff was not only helping others, but he was able to fully embody the role of ‘Daddy Warbucks.’