Community dons shaved heads in support of 8th grader - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Community dons shaved heads in support of 8th grader

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Central High School raised around $1500. Central High School raised around $1500.
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FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -

Classmates, family, and friends are sporting new looks in support of a Lauderdale County 8th grader diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Austin Franklin is in ICU at Vanderbilt recovering from surgery.

"I never thought I would have my head shaved, but I can't think of a better reason," said Austin's grandfather, Earl Moore.

Moore shed his locks as he sat alongside Austin's classmates, teachers, and coaches - all shaving their heads out of love.

"When I was a little kid, I don't think I'd have my head shaved for a purpose like that, but it's just a humbling experience for me," said Moore. "When I first walked into the gym, I wanted to cry."

Students and community members filled the Central High School gym as more than 30 people bared it all for Austin.

The ages ranged from kindergarten to seniors and nearly a dozen coaches and teachers.

"I'd do anything for him, and it felt good to see teachers and my friends come out and support him," said classmate Austin Brewer.

Brewer said it has been an emotional few weeks having their friend in the hospital.

"It's been rough because we haven't got to see him in a while, and it's been pretty hard," Brewer said.

"It hit me really hard because he's my brother's age, and it could have been my brother just as easily," said student organizer Haley Archer.

She said this is just one way to show how much Austin Franklin means to the Wildcat family.

"I bet he's terrified. I just wanted him to be able to feel the love from all of us," she said.

Central High School raised around $1500. That money will be given to Austin's family to help with medical and travel costs. 

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