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Kelowna Mayor and WFN Chief shaving their heads for a cause
In dire need of a haircut and wanting to support the training of future health care professionals, some big names are joining the Okanagan College Foundation’s Haircuts for Health Care initiative.
Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and Westbank First Nation Chief Christopher Derickson are committing to dealing with their unruly self-isolation hair by shaving their heads, and in doing so, raising vital funds to help open the doors to a state-of-the-art new Health Sciences Centre at Okanagan College.
Mayor Basran and Chief Derickson have each set a fundraising goal of $10,000 before they forgo their locks for a buzz cut.
Nearly 20 years ago, Chief Derickson’s father, Raymond, had a workplace accident that resulted in a brain injury. “I’ve seen first-hand the difference frontline health care workers make in people’s lives. The current pandemic has only highlighted the important role these professionals play in our communities,” says Derickson, who sits on the College’s Board of Governors, and served as Board Chair in 2018/2019.
“Okanagan College’s Health Sciences Centre will provide a world-class facility to train future health care workers. As we are currently witnessing, these everyday heroes do incredible jobs and they deserve to be trained in a facility that matches their level of commitment.”
Basran says he is a huge supporter of Okanagan College but adds that this fundraising campaign also holds a special place in his family’s heart.
“My wife Leanne is a Rehabilitation Assistant (RA) at Kelowna General Hospital. She is an amazing RA in part because she took the program at what was then Okanagan University College. This program continues at Okanagan College and has a great reputation for preparing students to be job ready once they graduate,” says Basran.
Depending on how long the fundraisers last, Derickson and Basran will either have their wives shave their heads, or be among the first customers for the local salons once they begin to safely re-open.
“We are so thankful to have these community leaders step up to support Haircuts for Health Care,” says Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director Helen Jackman.
Jackman came up with the idea for the fundraiser in April when most people, including her husband, were already one month in without any chance of a haircut in sight.
With salons re-opening in the near future, the Kelowna Mayor and WFN Chief will bring a final boost to the campaign, helping it reach its goal of raising $25,000 for the new Health Sciences Centre.
“We are so thankful to the public for helping us raise more than $9,500 so far. We encourage the public, if they can, to support these final haircut campaigns, which will finish with both of these leaders saying goodbye to their unruly locks and sporting a buzz cut.”
The support from Derickson and Basran will help unlock other funds too. Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton will donate $5,000 personally once Haircuts for Health Care reaches $10,000.
To learn more or support these campaigns, visit WFN Chief Derickson and Kelowna Mayor Basran’s fundraising pages.