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



Sign up for weekly stories


Culinary Arts student shows off salmon fillets on stakes that will go onto the fire.
Meet Ruby Pahtayken

October 7, 2020

What is your full name? Ruby Denise Pahtayken, kîhew Iskwēw- ᑭᐦᐁᐤ ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ. What program are you enrolled in at Okanagan College? Culinary Arts, currently in Professional Cook Level 2 for 2020. Where is your hometown? Onion Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan. Wîhcêkaskosîwî - Sâkahikanihk What brought you to OC? Why did you come to Kelowna to study? In pursuing my culinary career, I moved to Kelowna. I love that I come from the beautiful Cree plains and moved to a different territory. I w...

Outdoor courtyard with picnic bench on the Penticton campus
OC brings new counselling initiative online to support students

September 3, 2020

For students navigating stepping into a new semester amid a time of uncertainty and anxiety around COVID, Okanagan College’s Counselling Services team is creating a new opportunity to connect and build resilience. GROW @ OC is the College’s newest counselling initiative, an online drop-in group to learn practical tools and strategies to become a more proactive student. Designed directly for OC students by OC counsellors, the six workshops offered throughout the fall semester focus on setting students up for success amid a semester during w...

Grid of images from OC campuses, clockwise from top left: Penticton, Vernon, Kelowna and Salmon Arm
Physically distanced but still fun: College Orientation serves up info, activities and prizes

September 2, 2020

Okanagan College will welcome back students with a range of virtual and in-person physically-distanced, curbside Orientation Day activities next week – all geared toward making them feel connected and starting their post-secondary experience off on a positive note. “Okanagan College is about people – our students, and employees coming together in a truly supportive community,” said Meri Kim Oliver, OC’s Vice President Students. “As much as COVID-19 has changed how we connect, all OC campuses are committed developing the best student experie...

Okanagan College
Students will park for free at OC this fall

August 31, 2020

Okanagan College is waiving parking fees for students this coming semester. “Many of our students will be learning online or via remote delivery this fall, and we expect that those who are on campus for experiential learning in labs or shops may be spending less time on campus than normal,” explains Curtis Morcom, OC’s Vice President Employee and Corporate Services. “In light of that, we wanted to take this step to pass on some savings to students, which we hope will be a welcome relief.” Students can park for free and do not have to displa...