ELDERSBURG, Md (WMAR) -
Inches are cut off hair as miles of emotion run through the salon.
Mr. and Mrs. Claus donated $1,000. It is Christmas in March.
9-year-old Abbie Burgess gets a shorter hair do. The fourth grader understands why she's here.
"It gives me a happy feeling," said Burgess. "Like a really really happy feeling," she said.
Pictures of Ben Wheeler are in front of her.
Ben died in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Elements of Style Salon in Eldersburg hosted a 2-hour Cut-A-Thon to raise money for the Ben Wheeler fund.
"It's strictly for their family to help them defray the costs of anything they need to help them move through this, which will take years and years," said Vicki Pellicciotti. "You will never overcome it," she said
Six-year-old Ben liked to play soccer and enjoyed learning in his first grade classroom.
His godmother, Vickie Pellicciotti, organized the fundraiser, and invited the superintendent of Carroll County Schools to talk about safety upgrades to the buildings.
"When a parent or visitor walks up to the schools, instead of finding the open doors all the doors will be locked," said Stephen Guthrie, superintendent of Carroll County Public Schools. "There will be a buzzer there. They'll find the buzzer, which will activate a camera. The camera will then show the office secretaries who is at the door," he said.
A thank you letter was read from the Wheeler family that said in part:
...No matter how quiet our house may be, Ben will never be forgotten and his spirit will live forever.
Eight hair stylists donated their time so their customers would donate their money.
"I feel for them. I sincerely do," said parent Jessica Donaldson. "I just can't imagine going through what they've been going through for the past couple of months," she said.