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RACINE — Educators Credit Union employee Madison Gartzke made a bet with her coworkers. She told the staff at Educators Credit Union in Racine that if they helped her raise $1,000 for United Way, Gartzke would get a new haircut. The local is now sporting a freshly shaved head.

United Way ambassador goes big

Credit: Michael Mancuso

Gartzke said goodbye to her long brown hair to pay it forward to children who have hair loss through Wigs for Kids too.

The Member Response Specialist took it upon herself, after being named an ambassador for United Way, to challenge her coworkers to raise money for the nonprofit.

Credit: Michael Mancuso

Now Gartzke is without locks of hair, but it’s all for a good cause. The fundraiser benefiting United Way took place from Sept. 19 until Oct. 7.

“They had roughly three weeks to get the funds together. If I was too attached to my hair, I don’t know that I would have gone through with it,” said Gartzke. “I was okay with giving up the hair.”

Hairstylist pays it forward too

Alongside Gartzke was Ashlie Skotzke, owner of London Hair Studios, 6920 Green Bay Road, Studio 7 (inside Sola Salon Studios), in Kenosha. Together, they shaved Gartzke’s head in front of Educators Credit Union employees on Oct. 14.

Skotzke volunteered her time and skills to contribute to the fundraising efforts. To donate hair, organizations ideally want 12 inches of hair without dye. Gartzke was the perfect candidate.

“I always like to work for Wigs for Kids because they (the children) don’t have to pay for the wigs,” said Skotzke.

The stylist even let Gartzke chop off a few sections of her hair. That’s when it really hit her that she was getting a buzz cut.

“It wasn’t until Ashley let me cut a chunk of the hair out, and then she handed it to me. She started shaving and I even said, ‘I think it just hit me what we’re doing right now,'” she said.

Community support

Gartzke has had full support from coworkers, family, friends and the community. Her actions will be well appreciated by two nonprofit organizations in the future to come.

“I love it. I absolutely love it. I think it’s so fun. It’s totally new experience,” said the United Way ambassador about her new hairdo.

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