Joshua's gift

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Dozens shave heads, donate toys for 3-year-old

By Shannon Brock

More than 30 people went under the clippers Friday morning at Walmart in support of a local 3-year-old boy diagnosed with leukemia earlier this year.

The head shaving event raised around $2,300 for Joshua Huff and his family. Joshua is a son of Tom and Tammy Huff.

Elizabeth Whitaker, Joshua’s aunt and a Walmart employee, said words couldn’t describe how much the family appreciated the community’s support.

“I am so thankful,” Whitaker said. “These are wonderful people.”

Joshua was also excited to attend the event, which he called “his Christmas party,” Whitaker said.

In addition to the monetary donations, Woodforest Bank, which is located in Walmart, collected toys for Joshua. He unwrapped the gifts in front of a crowd that gathered near the bank for the head shaving event.

“This is great,” said Joshua’s father, Tom. “This is a really caring community.”

“I never thought he would sit still like that,” Tom said while watching Joshua open the presents. “But it looks like he is really enjoying it.”

Tom said he and his wife want to thank everyone involved.

“From the person who started it, to those who got their heads shaved, to those who made donations — thank you,” he said.

A large number of those who had their heads shaved were Walmart employees. The first to sit in the chair was Linda Darnell.

Darnell said she volunteered to be the first because the event meant something special to her.

“I have three young grandchildren,” she said. “Plus my sister had breast cancer. I wanted to [shave my head] then, but she wouldn’t let me. So this is for my momma and daddy, who died from cancer, and my sister.”

Darnell’s sister attended Friday’s event with her.

Assistant Manager Mark Willard also had his head shaved, and Deputy Tony Likins, with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, also sat in the chair.

The event was organized by the Personal Sustainability Practices team at the Lawrenceburg Walmart.

Members include employees Ross Wiedo, Connetta Downey, Trish Williamson, Sabrina Thompson, Kim Gunnells, Janet Bales, April Wells and Shannon Kirby.

To see more photos from the event, check out the slideshow at theandersonnews.com.

E-mail Shannon Mason Brock at sbrock@theandersonnews.com.