May 2, 2013

Putting cancer in the cross hairs

By Christopher Smith

— Five-year-old Logan Tunnell’s face would’ve dropped to the floor if that was possible. The shock of watching his 9-inch hair cut off was enough to make his eyes nearly pop out of their sockets.

Then a smile emerged.

Logan didn’t have much to say after his haircut at the Hair House Wednesday afternoon, but one thing was clear: Shorter was better.

“I like it,” he said after hopping off the barber chair to make room for his 3-year-old brother Tyler.

The duo sat patiently as stylist Brenda Hair clipped, buzzed and tamed their long hair, most of which will be donated to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program. The HairUWear company will use the locks to create wigs for women who have lost their hair during chemotherapy.

“I ended up letting their hair grow long because I loved it,” said the boys’ mother, Brandy Tunnell. “People commented on how pretty their hair was. We had a family friend —  Judy McClurg — who was going through the chemo process and she got to the point where she had to use a wig as a necessity.”

McClurg — the wife of former Dalton High School football coach Ronnie McClurg — lost her battle with cancer last year. Ben Tunnell, the boys’ father, said McClurg’s memory motivated the haircuts. It also moved the family to help promote the local Relay for Life, a public celebration for survivors of cancer set for Friday beginning at 5 p.m. at the North Georgia Fairgrounds.

“We just want to encourage folks to attend,” Ben Tunnell said. “There will be food and things for the kids, arts and crafts, raffles — anything from iPads to trips to the beach. Things like that. It’s almost a carnival and it’s open to the public.”

A human resource manager for Shaw Industries, Ben Tunnell said he will be with a Shaw employee team at the night relay race to celebrate cancer survivors and remember the lives lost to the disease.

For more information on Relay for Life, call event coordinator Cynthia Wilson at (706) 278-1960 or email