Below: Hair Massacure mascot Kali Bear was a big part of a Morinville Public School assembly Jan. 9. – Lucie Roy Photo
by Lucie Roy with Morinville News files
An annual fundraising event for the Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta and Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation kicked off in Morinville Friday, 13 years after the event began in the community.
The annual Hair Massacure event began in Cardiff and Morinville in the fall of 2002. Kali MacDonald, now a Morinville Community High School student, was undergoing chemotherapy treatments at the time. In her third year of treatment, Kali had another bought of hair loss, which the family was not expecting. Kali’s father Gordon wanted to do something and took the idea of a head shave to Canada Post where he worked at the time.
In its first year, 42 people had their heads shaved, raising $37,000 for the Kids with Cancer Society. Over the past 13 years, the Hair Massacure has raised more than $9 million. The 2014 event generated $1.4 million. Morinville Public School students and their families raised $12,000 of last year’s total.
Throughout the event’s decade-plus history, Hair Massacure co-founder Tammy MacDonald has played a major role in growing and running the event. MacDonald has largely retired from the Hair Massacure’s operations side but remains involved in an advisory role.
“They’re doing a stand up job of keeping the event going,” MacDonald said of the charities involved in the Hair Massacure. “It’s easier to hand off something when they have the best interest, and they recognize the grass roots feel.”
Amanda Race, Fund Development Coordinator for Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta, one of the charities now running the event, provided a short history of the Hair Massacure to MPS students Friday afternoon. “This is the thirteenth year for the Hair Massacure,” Race told MPS students. “That’s older than some of you here.”
Today the event largely consists of people dying their hair Kali pink, raising pledges, and shaving their heads t the West Edmonton Mall’s Ice Palace Feb. 20. Each year the campaign, in addition to raising more than $1 million, also collects more than 60 pounds of hair, which is then used to make wigs for children.
There are a number of incentives for student participants. Those raising $25 to $499 receive a Dilly Bar and Hair Massacure lanyard. Those raising $500 or more receive a Dilly Bar, lanyard and a Kali Bear. There is also a special Hair Massacure toque for those who shave their head or donate their hair.
For more information on the annual Hair Massacure, visit www.hairmassacure.com.