Group lets hair down to raise autism awareness

A student organization on Heidelberg University’s campus works to raise awareness of autism with one large event per semester. This semester, the group is to host an event to donate locks of hair.

RyRy’s Autism Avengers is a student organization that works to raise awareness of autism and raise money to help the local organization, Seneca Autism Learning and Support Association.

Katie Caldwell, a senior education major of Conover, is president of the organization. Caldwell said she and her group are working to spread the word the best they can.

“People deal with a great struggle every day and we want to do the best we can to relive some of that stress,” she said.

Caldwell said the event, tentatively scheduled for April 11, is to allow students and Tiffin community members to come to campus to donate locks of hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

Caldwell said the group is finalizing details this week.

“The event is not just for the students on campus,” she said. “We want the community to get involved as much as possible. Even if they don’t want to donate their hair, they can donate their time. More the merrier.”

“It is sometimes forgotten how much families with autistic members go through mentally on a daily basis,” said Laurie Kaltenmeier, the group’s adviser. “It is the lack of speech or struggle to handle large crowds that we see. The same goes with cancer. We see the fight to stay physically strong and we see the loss of hair, but we sometimes don’t see the self-esteem loss that comes with it. That is the part we’re trying to shed light on.”

For more information about the

organization or about the event, email Katie Caldwell at kcaldwe1@

heidelberg.edu