Laughter, music and scissors were the order of the day on Saturday, April 16, as Quesnel residents cut their hair to donate to the Wigs for Kids program at the Barkerville Brewing Company.
The initiative was planned by John Ouellette, who had been growing his hair since December of 2019.
“Or before the world stopped turning,” he said, laughing before the event.
“It’s a chance for me to contribute to a cancer fundraiser that’s near and dear to my heart. There are not many people I know who haven’t been touched by (cancer).”
Ouellette changed course for his donation to hair, after blood pressure issues prevented him from donating a kidney.
Wigs for Kids was founded in 1981 and uses real hair to create wigs to donate to children across North America. Families receiving the costly wigs are not charged.
“Children shouldn’t have to worry about how they look, especially when they’re in the middle of a health crisis,” Wigs for Kids founder Jeffrey Paul notes on the organization’s website.
“We want to give these kids the opportunity to feel good about themselves again.”
Ouellette was joined in his hair donation by Gaby Castaneda, Margamel O’Hara, Lori Bear, Barkerville Brewery taproom manager Ksenya Dorwart, and others who dropped in during the day. Michelle from Countryside Hair Care in Bouchie Lake provided the cutting.
“We wanted to wait until the passports and the mask mandates were gone so we could not limit how many people could participate,” Dorwart said.
“It was a little short notice for me to get the word out, but I think it’s working. It’s come together and we’re really happy with how it’s going.”
Hosting the event was a no-brainer for Dorwart and the brewery, as she’s donated hair in the past.
“There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to cut my hair for this,” she said just hours before the cut.
Everyone who donated hair also pulled from a prize draw.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Ouellette said on losing his hair.
“Although after I made the decision to cut it, it’s (been) kind of pissing me off. It gets in my mouth, it gets in my food.”
In addition to donating hair, the brewery was also collecting donations to give to Wigs for Kids, with a goal of $1,000, which they reached.
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