Hannah Novak didn't notice the loss as her long blond hair was shaved from her head at an assembly this week in front of the student body at Carson High School. “I could hear it, but I couldn't really feel it,” she said. “Maybe because I was so nervous, and there was so much going on, I didn't feel the difference.”But when she looked in the mirror, the Carson High School senior and student body historian was shocked. “I didn't recognize myself,” she said. “It was so weird. I couldn't even put it into words.”As part of her senior project, Novak, 17, challenged the community to raise $3,000 in three weeks for the Northern Nevada Children's Cancer Foundation. In return, she promised she'd shave her head. Friend Lydia Lopez, student body public relations officer, joined Novak in the challenge issued Sept. 1 at a school-wide assembly. During that assembly, sophomore Jermijah Thompson was inspired to join the girls. “I thought it'd be a great opportunity,” she said. “My hair is not me. It grows back. I'm not that worried about it.”Novak was happy to welcome Thompson to the cause. “I thought it was awesome,” she said. “Lydia and I had months to prepare. Jermijah jumped in on a week's notice.”Thompson said she kept in mind those who would benefit from the fundraiser as inspiration. “It's something I may do again,” she said. The girls followed through on their commitment during Monday's Homecoming Assembly, where it was announced that students and the community raised $4,884. Lopez, 16, said she wasn't sorry to see her hair go, which fell to about the middle of her back. “It was relieving,” she said. And it felt right. “It was nice,” she said. “I knew I had done something good.”She had no hesitations about attending the Homecoming Dance. “I feel confident with myself,” she said. “I just don't recognize myself in the mirror yet.”Novak's found a way around that. “When I look in the mirror, I think my inward beauty is showing,” she said. “All of our inward beauty is showing to everybody.”On the WebFor more information about Northern Nevada Children's Cancer Foundation, go to www.nvchildrenscancer.org.