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Queens lawmaker honors tweens for donating hair to local nonprofit

Councilwoman Adrienne Adams presented citations to Nafisa Qadri, 11, of Roslyn Heights, who donated 19 inches of hair, and Deleena Ramchan, 12, of Ozone Park, who cut off 24 inches of her hair locks. (Photo courtesy of Adams' office)

Two tweens were recognized by Councilwoman Adrienne Adams on Monday, July 26, for donating their hair to a local nonprofit that provides free hair replacements to young cancer patients experiencing hair loss. 

Adams presented citations to Nafisa Qadri, 11, of Roslyn Heights, who donated 19 inches of hair, and Deleena Ramchan, 12, of Ozone Park, who cut off 24 inches of her hair locks at Rachel Hair Salon, located at 104-10 111th St. in Richmond Hill. 

“I have been supporting these hair donation events since I was elected more than three years ago, and it never gets old. I am constantly blown away by the compassion, kindness and altruism of our youth, business owners and community leaders,” Adams said. “Nafisa and Deleena’s honorable actions exemplify what makes our district so great, and I am so pleased to honor their contributions to a good cause. I know their donation will make a big impact on young people who have cancer and other medical conditions.”

Their hair was donated to Butterflies By Blaq Incorporated, a Queens-based nonprofit founded in 2012 to benefit children who lose their hair due to cancer treatments, alopecia and other medical conditions.

The organization seeks to help restore normalcy and promote a sense of well-being to young people who are dealing with personal illnesses. 

“It has been a tough year and a half,” said Erna Blackman, founder of Butterflies By Blaq Incorporated. “In these difficult times, we are so grateful for the opportunity to continue to help others with the assistance of our fantastic hair donors and all those behind the scenes that help us make a difference.”

(From l. to r.) Councilwoman Adrienne Adams, salon owner Rachel Rampaul, Deleena Ramchan, Nafisa Qadri, First Vice Chair and Education Chair of Community Board 9 Sherry Algredo and founder of Butterflies By Blaq Incorporated Erna Blackman. (Photo courtesy of Adams’ office)

Qadri was happy to donate her hair, especially when she heard it would benefit kids who lost their hair due to cancer. Qadri also wanted to honor her grandmother who is going through chemotherapy for cancer, she said. 

“I had planned to cut 13 inches, but instead cut 19 inches. I want these children to enjoy wigs with long hair like I enjoyed mine. Even though my hair is shorter, I know it will grow back and someone will be blessed with it,” Qadri said. “I want to thank my parents for inspiring me to do good deeds.”

For Ramchan, donating her hair is something she has always wanted to do to benefit children who suffer hair loss due to cancer. 

“I am hoping my hair donation, when made into a wig, will bring one of these kids joy,” Ramchan said. “I was very happy to have 24 inches cut off and donated to Butterflies BBI Inc. I also wish to thank my parents for allowing me to do this selfless act of giving.”

Rampaul, the salon owner, was honored last month by Adams for lending her space, expertise and skills for the hair donation event.

“I am humbly honored to use my salon and talent to cut and style these girls’ hair. It has been a pleasure donating my space for this special event,” Rampaul said. “My husband Richard Rampaul and sons Tyler and Dylan inspire me every day to do good and give back to my community. I am very proud of Nafisa and Deleena for doing such a good deed.”

Photo courtesy of Adams’ office.

Sherry Algredo, first vice chair and education chair of Community Board 9, who has arranged and witnessed several of these events, said each one is “special and inspirational.” 

“Thank you Nafisa and Deleena for being such great souls and for your kind act of donating your long, beautiful hair to benefit those suffering. Working along with my Councilwoman Adrienne Adams to create these events has and will always be one of the greatest highlights of my life,” Algredo said. “Butterflies BBI Inc. is a very great Queens-based organization and I urge any girls wanting to cut and donate their hair for a worthy cause to contact them to arrange for a hair-cutting event.”

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