Balding for Dollars at SFU

web-Balding for dollars-Mark Burnham

Over 50 students donated their locks to BC Children’s Hospital

By Amara Janssens
Photos by Mark Burnham

On Mar. 20, SFU student group Club for the Cure hosted their seventh annual Balding for Dollars event in support of BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH). From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., dozens of volunteers braved the cold weather to coordinate the event that took place in Convocation Mall. The event attracted an estimated two thousand students, who listened to the live performances, ate the generous amount of food, and of course observed as fellow students donated their hair.

Club for the Cure was started nearly 10 years ago, and currently has 30 general executives and around 600 members. The Peak spoke to two of the club’s general executives, Ruphen Shaw and Vuitton Chan. Shaw joined the club three years ago because she wanted “to get involved.” Chan similarly joined because she wanted to join “a club that would give back.” The two say that Balding for Dollars is the largest event the club puts on, and that over the last three years over $50,000 has been raised for BCCH.

This year, the club’s goal was to raise $17,000 for the oncology department at BCCH. As of Thursday afternoon, the club said they had already surpassed their goal, with the figure at $22,000.
“Everything that we make today goes to BC Children’s,” Shaw told The Peak. “The club doesn’t keep anything for itself.” All food, prizes, and entertainment were donated for the event.

In total, 54 SFU students decided to register as “shavees” for Balding for Dollars. Each shavee was required to donate at least eight inches of hair to turn into a wig. According to Club for the Cure, it takes three “harvests” of hair to make one wig.

Sharra Farivar is a fourthyear biology major and raised $1,700. Farivar said she was overwhelmed by the amount of support she received from her friends and family. She decided to participate in Balding for Dollars for a number of reasons. “It’s been at the back of my mind for a while,” having lost her mom to cancer when she was 10.
However, she said the main reason she participated in the event was to just get rid of her hair. “My hair was annoying me,” she admitted. In all, Farivar donated 23 inches of hair.

At the time of print, Club for the Cure could not confirm who the top fundraiser was. According to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s donation page, Clair Lam is the top fundraiser, having raised $2,045. The top fundraiser will receive a Canucks jersey signed by the Sedin twins, as well as two tickets to a Canucks game.

According to BCCH, “20 per cent of funds raised go to patient and family support.” This support includes providing medicine, feeding supplies and medical equipment that is not covered by health care plans. Another 15 per cent of the funds go to support the Survivor Bursary Program, “where adolescent cancer survivors that would like to attend university or college can apply for the bursary for up to
$1,000.”

Twenty per cent of donations goes towards research at the Child & Family Research Institute. “The research is critical for the improved survival rate of children today and in the future,” said Suzanne Dunbar, Balding for Dollars administrator assistant and coordinator of events. The remaining 45 per cent of donations goes to support the Teen Adventure Program, contingency funds, and miscellaneous requests, while 20 per cent goes to administrative, promotions and fundraising costs.

According to Dunbar, approximately 150 children are newly diagnosed with cancer each year. “One in Five kids don’t survive,” Dunbar stated. “Though quality of life is being improved, more must be done to change this stat.”

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