HairMassacure, by Doris Gooding, Russell Reception, Feb 20, 2014
The HairMassacure is a fundraising event which began in 2002 by the MacDonald family as a way to support their youngest daughter, Kali, through her fight with cancer and the hair loss as a result of the chemotherapy. The first head shave was on February 14, 2003 at Canada Post, where Kali’s father, Gordon, worked. It had 48 victims and raised $37,000 for the “Kids with Cancer Society”.
The event has evolved over the years to include the dying of hair to a “Kali Pink” in January with the head shave in February as well as changing the recipients of the fundraising efforts to include the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta and Ronald McDonald House.
My brother, Paul Liimatainen, started dying his hair pink and raising money for the HairMassacure in 2008 and his fundraising efforts are in conjunction with his team which goes under the name of “Paul and Friends”. I was able to convince my son, John, to join “Paul and Friends” in 2010 and he proudly pinks and shaves his hair.
While I do pink my hair, I decided against doing the head shave and instead offered to hold a chili lunch in the small town of Ardrossan where we live. This way John could have his head shaved with the help of his friends. This was the fourth year for this lunch and we have outgrown 2 venues and we are hoping it continues to grow in popularity. When I first made the offer, I couldn’t imagine cooking chili for 200 people but it looks like this is where we are headed. We couldn’t do it without the help of friends and family and every year we have more people willing to help with the lunch as well as be ‘victims’.
The first year we had 2 heads to shave, John and Paul, and in 2014 we had 14 willing ‘victims’. It seems like everyone has a great time and you would be hard pressed to find a better cause then fighting cancer in children. It looks like this year’s lunch fundraising efforts alone have brought in over $10,000.00 and the team’s amount is just over $26,000.00.
I am proud to say that my brother and his team of “Paul and Friends” have raised over $200,000.00 since 2008.
Doris is at left in front row of photo which shows the pinked heads before they were shaved.
Way to go, Paul's and Friends!