Rep. Longdon raising money for schools by offering to shave her hair

Rep. Jennifer Longdon
Rep. Jennifer Longdon, Photo by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror

Would you shave your head to raise money for schools in your area? That’s what Rep. Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix, is willing to do. 

Longdon launched the “Shave it or Save it” fundraiser to raise funds for schools in her district. 

The goal is to raise $5,000. But there’s a catch: Donors can choose when they give the money whether they’re on Team Shave It or Team Save It, and whichever choice gets the most money will determine the fate of Longdon’s hair. 

“My hair has been a running joke for a long time,” she told Arizona Mirror. Her long hair is often the butt of jokes among her legislative colleagues, so using her hair as a ploy for fundraising for LD24 schools seemed somewhat natural, Longdon said.

The plan is to announce which choice got the most money at the Aug. 8 meeting of the Legislative District 24 Democrats. If donors decide Longdon will shave her head, that will take place at a later date. 

The money would go to the district’s five schools that are in the most need, according to the fundraiser page. 

The idea started about a year ago, when someone Longdon knew had shaved their head to raise money. At the time, Longdon wasn’t too interested in the idea, and said she is still nervous about the possibility. 

“I have never in my life been bald, I was born with a full head of hair,” Longdon said, an anxious sigh interrupting her speaking. “Who knows what my scalp looks like?”

Longdon has cut off large portions of her hair before to donate to causes that make wigs for women undergoing cancer treatment, but has never totally shaved her head. 

If it comes to pass, Longdon said she has asked Veronica Penzone, a Scottsdale salon owner and wife of Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone, to shave her head.

Longdon is also hoping to use the fundraiser to bring awareness to issues related to teacher salaries. 

“This is all in good fun and I am happy to do it,” Longdon said, “but it does make me sad that I have to do this to raise money for something so basic that the state should provide.” 

Longdon said she won’t learn what will happen to her hair until the announcement on Aug. 8. 

For now, she is focused mostly on raising the $5,000 – though the did concede that she’s begun window-shopping for hats and scarves.

Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joins the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. Jerod has also won awards for his documentary films which have covered issues such as religious tolerance and surveillance technology used by police. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.


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