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Point Park University student turns assignment into benefit for kids

Mary Pickels
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Nick Koehler | Point Park University
Point Park University student Christina Wonnacott turns class project into fundraiser.

Point Park University student and grandmother Christina Wonnacott, 65, saw a way to turn a classroom assignment into a way to help others.

“I needed to create a four-minute film for my screenwriting class and thought, ‘Why not make a promotional film that an organization could use to increase awareness and donations?’” Wonnacott says.

A Downtown resident, she is promoting Wigs for Kids, a national non-profit organization providing free, custom-fitted wigs for children 18 years and under who experience a medical-related hair loss.

An illness several years ago led Wonnacott to experience hair loss, university officials say.

Her efforts led to a 2-6 p.m. Feb. 10 “cut-a-thon” fundraiser on the university campus. Pittsburgh’s downtown Cardamone’s Salon will provide free haircuts to those donating 12 inches or more of hair. Regular haircuts for men and women will also be available. All proceeds will benefit Wigs for Kids.

Staging area for those awaiting haircuts will be the school’s Lawrence Hall, 201 Wood St., where merchandise including Wigs for Kids T-shirts, wristbands, silent auction items, postcards and raffle tickets will be sold.

Wonnacott hopes to raise $5,000 during the one-day event. As an older, non-traditional student, she says the opportunity to combine a class assignment with doing good for others is just the kind of college experience she sought.

“I returned to school when most people are retiring, but it’s been the best decision of my life,” says Wonnacott, who until recently lived in a campus freshman dorm.

“An important part of what we hope our students learn while they are at Point Park is how to help others. The fact that Christina and (sophomore) Dylon (Hartigan, film director and co-producer) turned a class screenwriting assignment into a fundraiser is exactly the kind of effort we encourage,” says Keith Paylo, university dean of students.

The event is open to the public.

Details and pre-registration: https://wigsforkidsevent.wixsite.com/website

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter @MaryPickels.