ST. ANN, Mo. (KSDK) - At Holman Middle School, students are encouraged to never take short cuts.
Except one day a year.
This is the annual fundraiser for the St. Baldrick's foundation.
"I think this has the ability to inspire so many people, "said Holman parent Michelle Spann.
To support childhood cancer research, teachers and students volunteer to have their heads shaved.
"To help kids who don't have hair because of their treatments, "said 10-year-old Katelyn Neumann.
Katelyn, a budding young artist, first read about the fundraiser on a school flyer.
"I brought it home and I asked my mom, hey can I shave my head and she said no!" she said.
"And she came home the next day and said the same thing and I started to think that maybe she's serious," said Spann, Katelyn's mom.
For Katelyn, it became very serious when she heard the story of Emily Linneman.
"My grandma knows her mom and they work together, " Katelyn said.
Two years ago, at the age of 13, Emily was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, an aggressive -- sometimes deadly -- bone cancer. Fighting it, she lost her hair.
"I cried when it fell out, when it started falling out, "Emily said.
But she also lost her left leg. Her courage was more than enough to inspire Katelyn.
"She had to lose her leg because of cancer and nobody wants to do that. So I wanted to honor her," Katelyn said.
Still, hair can be an important part of a young girl's identity. Or so I thought.
"And what makes someone pretty?, "I asked.
"Everybody thinks it's their hair but I think it's just their self. Being how they act and who they are," Katelyn responded.
That's why Holman Middle School was abuzz with anticipation. Since Katelyn was supporting Emily, Emily was there to support Katelyn and even made some of the first cuts.
As time went on, the hair came off and it was hard to tell if Katelyn was laughing or crying.
"It's tears of joy not tears of sadness, "Spann said.
When it was done, the new short hairdo needed to be followed by a nice long hug and a message to Katelyn and everyone involved.
In front of the whole gym through tears Emily said, "And the cancer research will help so many kids and will make so many lives better so thank you all very much."
Sometimes, the littlest people can make the biggest difference.
"I got my head shaved and it's all gone, "laughed Katelyn showing off her bald head.
One 10-year 0ld girl putting others before herself and sending the right message anyway you cut it.
"Katelyn is amazing. She has such a big heart, "said one observer.