JONESBORO, Ark. – An Arkansas 11-year-old was just crowned the Kids USA Mullet Champion, and now he plans to use his prize to help other children in foster care.
Allan Baltz, 11, was one of 25 finalists in the kid’s division of the competition, and earlier this week it was announced that he took the winning title with more than 25,000 votes.
The $2,500 prize for having the rocking do will now go to charities like Project Zero, though Allan’s generosity did not stop there. So far, the prize money pushes his fundraising efforts to more than $5,500.
In 2015, Allan and his twin sister Alice were adopted by Derek and Lesli Baltz of Jonesboro. Medical issues have put a number of challenges in front of the young boy.
“His story, to that point, was horrific. In addition, he has a rare genetic syndrome (X-linked Opitz G/BBB Syndrome) that affected the development of the midline of his entire body in utero. He has all of the associated symptoms with abnormalities in his brain, heart, larynx,” Lesli told KAIT8-TV. “He’s had 3 surgeries and countless hours of therapy to improve his speech and motor skills.”
During the coronavirus lockdown, Allan and his family looked for ways to make memories. His mother said that the mullet idea was only supposed to last until the school year started, but Allan had other plans.
“We were trying to find ways to make funny memories during quarantine,” Lesli said. “We were going to do a mullet, a Mohawk and then a rat tail and shave it all off before he went back to school in August, but he loved the mullet and refused to let us cut it off.”
After he was encouraged to enter the competition, Allan agreed to enter on the condition that any winnings would go to charities that are close to his heart.
“I know I’m one of the really lucky ones because I have a great mom and dad who adopted me, and I really want to be able to help other kids who are looking for forever homes,” he said. “This money will really help people who are working with foster kids.”
Allan was not the only “long hair, don’t care” kid trying to help others. The silver-medalist in the Kids Division, 7-year-old Ezra Cramer from Alabama, also looked to help his community.
Ezra and his family used the notoriety the contest gave the boy and used it to raise money for an anti-bully campaign.