On Friday, March 30th 2012, Heather and I did something that we never thought we would do: we shaved our heads! Or more precisely, our heads, along with many others, were shaved as part of a Shave for the Brave event, to raise money for Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC).
As you may have read in previous posts, we have been very impressed by the dedicated group at YACC and by the authenticity of the 'forgotten' population of Canadian young adult cancer survivors which YACC supports. So when Heather decided to participate in a Shave and go bald for the cause, I was inspired to follow suit! Shave for the Brave events are held across the country at schools, businesses, private homes and shopping malls to raise awareness for young adults with cancer as well as to raise funds for the many support programs which YACC offers free of charge. Heather approached Fred C Cook public school here in Ontario and they wholeheartedly embraced the idea. The community of Bradford West Gwillimbury was also very keen and many local businesses donated generously of either their time (7 hair stylists), portions of their sales directly to YACC, or prizes for the student shavers.
We are happy to report that on our Shave day we had 55 'shavers', who either donated 10 inches of hair or were shaved 'down to the wood'. There were even two female students who went bald with the boys! Our 'shavers' were a combination of students, parents, Heather and I, and even a brave teacher. It was a fun, exciting and action-packed afternoon, complete with local fire-fighters and police officers on hand to sweep hair. There were many laughs, lots of photographs taken (unfortunately including some of us), and the end result was that our Fred C Cook Shave team managed to raise over $20,000 for YACC. We are over the moon!
Although the Shaves occur nationwide, the majority of the school shaves still occur in Newfoundland, where YACC originated, and where their main office resides. We were the only school who participated in Ontario this year, and Fred C Cook is ranked in the top 5 fundraising schools across the country for Shave for the Brave! Perhaps an even greater measure of success in our eyes, is that we received many insightful comments from students regarding the struggles faced by young adult cancer survivors. This proved to us that they understood the importance of supporting this group, which is all too often overlooked. We also very much appreciated all the heartfelt thanks from parents and school staff for helping to educate and inspire the students. We hope to encourage and inspire more schools in Ontario to follow suit next year!
For more information on YACC's Shave for the Brave please visit www.shaveforthebrave.ca, and about our specific event, look for us under news archives.
posted by Jennifer Chown, May 4, 2012