Blue hair and shaved heads abounded at the Region of Waterloo International Airport Mar. 5. The site wasn’t home to a punk rock concert, but played host to the fourth annual Go Blue! Go Bald! head shave and silent auction organized by West Jet Cares for Kids and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The annual fundraiser featured a live auction, hosted by Sarge from Kool FM, a silent auction and a raffle in addition to eager blue-haired head-shavers. All proceeds from the day went to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to severely ill children.
West Jet customer service representative Debbie Linesky said the goal for this year’s event was $25,000.
“We’ve been very, very fortunate over the past four years. We’ve raised about $64,000, we’re hoping to achieve our goal and just keep growing and growing,” she said.
Linesky chose to dye her hair blue for the event, while her husband and son decided to go bald.
Heads were sheared in groups of three throughout the afternoon. Among the first group of participants was Lisa Heginson-Bowyer, who not only shaved her head, but donated her long, brown hair to Locks of Love in memory of a friend’s daughter.
Locks of Love makes wigs from donated hair for children suffering from illnesses such as cancer that cause them to lose their own hair.
Ron Young began to cry as he watched Heginson-Bowyer’s hair fall away while holding a picture of his daughter Rebecca, whom he lost to cancer on Feb. 21. Young said the Make-A-Wish Foundation was a charity close to his heart.
“Make-A-Wish sent Rebecca to Chicago for a whole week of shopping. It was the last thing she could do,” he said choked with emotion.
After Heginson-Bowyer’s hair hit the floor, the tears continued to flow as she wrapped her head in a bright red bandana that belonged to Rebecca.
Heginson-Bowyer’s son Dylan said he would have to think about being seen in public with his shorn mother.
“It’s weird,” he laughed. “Probably as long as she wears a bandana or a hat.”
The day continued to be filled with emotion as participants made their heads a little lighter, including West Jet’s vice-president of sales Duncan Bureau.
“It’s all coming off today, it’s going to be fun,” Bureau said before he met with the clippers. “It’s my first year and I’m just glad to be able to be a part of it.”