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With their wives wielding clippers, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and Westbank First Nation Chief Christopher Derickson expressed a hint of apprehension for the looming buzz cuts they’d committed to, but not an ounce of regret for the profile they’ve been able to raise for a cause near and dear to their hearts.
Both leaders were able to raise more than $10,000 each for Okanagan College’s Haircuts for Health Care campaign and, having met their fundraising goals, met up in the College’s courtyard recently for a physically-distanced buzz cut from their partners, Leanne Basran and Jordan Derickson. (Click here to see a video of the haircuts.)
“I’m a huge supporter of Okanagan College and I wanted to do my part in helping this campaign,” says Colin. “I know Christopher serves on the College’s Board and I thought the two of us could lend our names to this amazing campaign to raise some money.”
In less than two weeks both leaders exceeded their goals, helping raise more than $23,000 for Okanagan College’s new Health Sciences Centre that will train students for eight frontline health care professions. The Chief and Mayor’s involvement also unlocked another gift. Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton donated $5,000 after the campaign surpassed $10,000.
“This is a very worthy cause, I’m glad to have been a part of it. I’m excited to see the amount of support we generated from this campaign and they still need to raise money, the campaign itself isn’t over,” says Christopher.
“While we all might be getting our haircuts now with our regular salons and barbers you can still give to the campaign, they still need to raise money for this wonderful Health Sciences building.”
Haircuts for Health Care launched in mid-April, nearly a month after non-essential businesses including salons were forced to close. The fundraiser invited people who were in desperate need of a haircut to open up their own ‘self-isolation salon’ and hand the clippers to their kids or spouse. People could donate the cost of a typical haircut or go for a creative cut and fundraise from their friends.
While some people chose to simply cut their hair and donate, many more people set up fundraising pages with plans to go for a less conventional haircut (dubbed a Corona cut) or a shaved head once they reached their goal.
“We are so grateful to Colin and Chris for supporting this campaign. In the process of sacrificing their hair, they have given our campaign a major boost and underlined the importance of health care education for our community,” says Helen Jackman, Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director.
Since Haircuts for Health Care started nearly two months ago, more than 380 people have contributed, raising more than $38,000.
“We’d like to thank everyone in the community who donated. Your generosity and community spirit at this extraordinary time is inspiring,” says Jackman.
To learn more or support the Our Students, Your Health campaign for a new Health Sciences Centre, click here.