By CASSIE TULECKI
Participants in Make-A-Wish Southwestern Ontario’s ninth annual Go Blue! Go Bald! fundraiser raised approximately $20,000.
Supporters raised pledges, dyed their hair blue and also had their heads shaved at the event held March 28 at Edelweiss Tavern in Kitchener. There was also a silent auction that was open to the public.
Go Blue! Go Bald! has raised over $1 million all across southwestern Ontario since it began.
“Participants in our Go Blue! Go Bald! head shave events raise pledges, and many colour their hair blue in advance of the event to raise awareness, and then they shave their head for our wish kids,” said Stephanie Field, manager of communications and development.
Blue hair extensions could be purchased for a $5 donation at the Make-A-Wish offices if supporters chose not to go bald. People could also get involved by hosting an event that focused on the blue theme. The possibilities were endless.
“Each winter Make-A-Wish Southwestern Ontario holds a Go Blue! Go Bald! campaign, however, supporters are encouraged to join in the fun at any time of year and organize a Go Blue! Go Bald! head shave or blue-themed fundraiser in their school, workplace or community,” Field said.
Make-A-Wish Southwestern Ontario works to give children with life-threatening medical conditions the chance to experience hope, joy and have their wish fulfilled. In 2014, the organization was able to grant 68 wishes for exceptional children.
“Behind the blue hair, there are many unique and heartwarming stories,”said Lori Quick, chief executive officer, in a media release.
“One such story is that of 12-year-old Ayden, who has participated in Go Blue! Go Bald! since 2010. In the past four years he has raised a cumulative total of $9,356.75. Ayden was inspired to participate by a friend who received a wish and his aunt’s involvement in the event.”
Melissa Legge, one of the many supporters who attended the event, said, “My sister and I have come for the past two years. We heard it on the radio and I wanted to dye my hair anyways. We even brought our little brother this year.”
The event was sponsored by CTV, KFUN 99.5 FM, 105.3 KOOL FM and the Waterloo Region Record. Stylists from Studio 102 shaved supporters’ heads on stage.
“The participant pledges totalled $14,108.25 for the event and with the silent auction and draw prizes the event total will reach around $20,000,” said Brittany Kinchen, wish co-ordinator.
To learn more about Make-A-Wish and how you can get involved, call 519-471-4900 or visit www.makeawish.ca. There is also a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/swo.makeawish, and a Twitter page at @MakeAWishSWO.