Haircuts fundraiser caps off with a ‘Pinky Blinder’

By Public Affairs | June 16, 2020

Phil Ashman and Grant Lawrence
Phil Ashman and Grant Lawrence

It was supposed to be a Peaky Blinders inspired haircut, but a miscommunication resulted in what may turn some heads this week: the Pinky Blinder.

Grant Lawrence, Valhalla Angels Kelowna President and Vancouver Co-President, and Phil Ashman, Okanagan College Regional Dean for the Central Okanagan, are sporting the infamous Peaky Blinders ‘Tommy Shelby’ haircut gone pink after raising more than $5,400 from their friends and colleagues.

Peaky Blinders is a popular, gritty drama available on Netflix.

With salons reopening, Lawrence and Ashman helped wrap up the Haircuts for Health Care fundraiser in style, which invited people to go for a creative home haircut and fundraise from their network. All proceeds support the education of future health care professionals by contributing to the $5-million goal for the construction of a new Health Sciences Centre at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus.

Most people who took part in Haircuts for Health Care shaved their heads. As one of the final fundraising campaigns, Lawrence and Ashman knew they needed to get creative with their haircuts.

“I enjoy the Peaky Blinders series so I thought this could be a fun campaign while supporting our community and students during this time,” says Lawrence.

Lawrence originally suggested the two go for a Peaky Blinders haircut, but Okanagan College Foundation Executive Direct Helen Jackman heard “Pinky Blinders,” and a trendsetting haircut was born.

“With COVID-19, generating funds to support the education of health care professionals was an easy cause to get behind,” adds Lawrence.

The two also waxed their chests, as part of a tiered fundraising challenge, and Ashman was also tasked with waxing his legs. Ashman’s waxing services were donated by Talking Tree Spa. According to Ashman, the fundraiser shows that he will do almost anything to help students.

“When we started talking about this, I didn’t think it would get this far,” says Ashman.

“Thanks to generous benefactors we were able to raise more than $5,000 to support our future health care workers. The haircut and the waxing seems like a small price to pay for such a great cause.”

Since the Haircuts for Health Care campaign began in mid March, more than 400 people donated to the various campaigns raising $44,600 in total. Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and Westbank First Nation Chief Christopher Derickson shaved their heads recently after raising more than $10,000 each.

“This community fundraiser gave us many smiles during the last several months as we watched people bravely pass the clippers to their spouses or even their kids,” says Jackman.

“During an uncertain time, we’re grateful to the community for embracing this fundraiser that will ensure we continue to have the skilled, essential health care professionals we need for our hospitals, seniors homes, and other health care settings.”

While the Haircuts fundraiser is complete, the Okanagan College Foundation is encouraging the public to donate and help meet their $5-million community fundraising goal to open the Health Sciences Centre this fall. The Foundation has raised $2.5 million to date. To learn more or to donate visit

About Valhalla Angels
Valhalla Angels, established in 2003, is an investor-only membership group committed to supporting the startup ecosystem through early stage angel investing; we bring founders and investors together. Valhalla also runs monthly events open to the public which can be found here:

Tags: OC Foundation, Health Sciences Centre



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