Poulin’s Challenge Supports Wounded Warriors

By Jann Wiswall

Every year, Ellicottville Elementary School Principal Connie Poulin gives students a “Principal’s Challenge.” This year, she asked grade K-6 students to make themselves aware of veterans in the community, to recognize their service to the country and to raise $3,000 for Wounded Warriors.

In exchange for doing all this, she vowed to get a buzz cut.

The students exceeded Poulin’s goal and raised $3,100, so, on June 24, she held up her end of the bargain.

“It’s just hair,” she said at an assembly of restless and excited young students that morning.

“Our veterans gave their lives and limbs for our country. Limbs don’t grow back, hair does. Cutting my hair is just a symbol of what these brave men and women have sacrificed.”

It was clear the students knew they were watching something important and, dare we say, brave, as hairstylist Sarah Smith from Reflections Hair Salon got out her scissors. By the time most of Poulin’s long dark tresses were on the floor, students were cheering and egging her on.

“How does it look?” she asked the students. “What do you think?”

The crowd, for the most part, gave her an enthusiastic thumbs up.

“We’re so lucky to live in a country that offers all of its children a public education,” she said as she quieted the children down. “Our servicemembers help make sure we are able to keep these and all of our other freedoms.”

The $3,100 that the students raised will be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project to help support its programs for injured veterans. If you would like to contribute, too, visit