The 'Hat Lady' shows her love

Published 7:33 pm Thursday, February 22, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Mary Ann Spence, 66, showed a true act of compassion Tuesday afternoon as she had several inches of hair cut off for Locks of Love at Dannie's Beauty Corner.
Spence, from Walnut Hill, Fla., is a teacher's aid at Ernest Ward Middle School. She said that there are children in the school who have mothers with cancer.
"I can't give them my organs yet but I can give them my hair," Spence said. "Some of the kids at Ernest Ward who are friends of the children whose mothers have cancer have shaved their heads.
Spence did not even flinch as Dannie Bradley, from the hair salon, pulled her hair back into a long ponytail and begin cutting.
"It will grow back," Spence said. "I am doing this for the kids at school. They are such good kids and I love them."
Spence said that she has a problem with developing skin cancer and for about seven years she has been wearing hats to prevent the sun from shining on her face and skin. Since she's been wearing hats her hair has grown extremely long and she felt it was time to give it a cut.
"For about seven years I have been wearing a hat," Spence said. "I just wash it, let it dry and put a hat on. I don't even dry it with a hair dryer. It just got really long and my husband said to do something with it. It has just been growing ever since I started wearing hats."
Because of the long duration that she has been wearing hats, Spence has become the "hat lady" to those who know her.
"I am known as the 'hat lady,'" she said. "When I go to Wal-Mart or to church that's who I am. I am the only person to wear a hat to church except for on Easter. I do not walk outside without a hat on."
After her haircut was completed, Spence gathered the hair that Bradley cut off, put it in a Ziploc bag and marched it to the Atmore post office to send immediately to Locks of Love.
Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to children under the age of 18 who have had hair loss because of a long-term medical illness. Hair is donated to the organization to help rebuild the child's self-esteem and confidence.
For more information on how to donate hair to the Locks of Love please visit

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