Andrew Xiques has saved his family some money over the years when it comes to haircuts. That’s because the Toms River High School senior has not had one since he was in 6th grade.

He originally began growing his hair as part of a youth “lacrosse thing” but in 7th grade he found a different motivation which would change his young life dramatically.

Xiques watched an ESPN documentary titled The Man in the Red Bandana.

It’s an inspiring story about Welles Crowther, a former Boston College lacrosse player who was credited with saving as many as 18 lives before the South Tower collapsed during the 9/11 attacks. Those survivors did not know who saved them except to say he was wearing a red bandana.

Crowther, an equities trader and volunteer firefighter like many heroes that day went up when others went down and it cost the 24-year old his life.

Andrew Xiques flier
Andrew Xiques flier Andrew Xiques)

After watching the documentary the young Beachwood resident felt like he had to something to honor him so he began wearing Crowther’s #19 and also sported a red bandana, something he has continued to do through his high school career.

However that wasn’t enough for Andrew so in the spirit of his hero he has decided to help others.  He’s been raising money for the American Cancer Society in the name of Welles Crowther and on Monday will for the first time in six years cut his hair in somewhat dramatic fashion and for a great cause.

Toms River South will host Marlboro under the lights Monday on what is the Indians “Senior Night” which is always special for the athletes and their families. At 6 p.m., an hour before the game and on the field Andrew will cut his hair and donate his very long locks to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. 

Unlike some other organizations the wigs made by them are donated free to cancer patients.  Having seen pictures of Andrew he’s got a lot of hair to donate and I’m planning to attend the game and support his effort and cause.

In a flyer that he put together the 18-year old said, “While my hair donation and fundraising efforts cannot be compared to the sacrifice Welles Crowther made on 9/11, I hope I can make a difference in some of the lives that have been affected by cancer.”

Andrew let me be one of many to say YOU HAVE and WELL DONE.

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