August 12th, marks the 10th Anniversary since my Dad lost his battle to cancer. I was 20. With my 30th birthday and his anniversary marking two significant days in my life, I wanted to do something special.
And I did.
I made the decision to do something selfless and somewhat challenging that would make a difference in another person's life. After 10 years of regrets and heartache, it was finally time to let go of the emotional baggage that I have held onto and that has worn out my body, mind, heart and soul for so long. It was time to make peace with my father and myself, time to do something courageous in his name, something I know he would be proud of and that would redeem me from all the regretful moments and actions that took place during my late teens leading up to his death.
I decided to shave my head and donate all my hair to Wigs for Kids. As the costs to make a wig can cost up to $3000, I also took it upon myself to organize a fundraiser: Change Your Hair, Change A Life.
A lot of hands helped to make this day happen. I set up a page with Tinykick.com where everyone could visit for information, details, get to know my story and make their donations. An Event Page was created on Facebook where people could join and keep up with updates on prizes and our daily progress of donations.
Everyday was a success. We reached $3000 just before the big day and brought in just over $1300 at the event with help from Erin & Kerstyn at Our Little Flower Company. These two amazing girls (cousins) from here in Tsawwassen received armloads of donated flowers which they furiously wove, bunched and beautifully displayed to help raise as much as possible for the event. We also had tonnes of great prizes from generous vendors, both local and non-local that helped to raise a wealth of additional funds!
The big day took place at Diefenbaker Park, here in Tsawwassen, alongside the second of Tsawwassen's three Movie Nights held during the summer. We had a photobooth set up for everyone donating that would also be the mini stage where my good friend Jade would be cutting and shaving my hair.
August is busy in the summer around here. Everyone and their dog was getting married the same day and gave way more advanced notice so there were a few faces that were missed, but many other lovely precious faces that were there in support, not to mention the many locals that gathered in the crowd to cheer me on! Beaming faces with huge smiles , backed by a pink sunset and serenaded by some beautiful songs, it could not have been more perfect...
T H A N K Y O U
With everyone's contributions, big or small, monetary or voluntary, we were able to raise just over $5000!!!!! INCREDIBLE. Our goal was to hit $3000 which we surpassed just before the big day ($3555) with another $1067 from the raffle and donations and $278 worth of donations thanks to Our Little Flower Company!
To Regina and Joe from Tinykick for giving us a platform for this event and helping to make everything run as smoothly as possible! To Bev from Wigs for Kids for her positive energy and support. To Matt and Barb from the Tsawwassen BIA for being so kind, considerate and supportive, working out logistics to make this night happen. Thank you to miss Lindsay Elliott for the incredible video she created for this event. Thank you for sacrificing your day off to create this beautiful video for me when your schedule is just as hectic as my own. Much love.
Thank you to everyone who donated. I hope your hearts are as filled with hope and happiness as mine is, knowing you have helped to make a difference in the life of a small child. I have to say, I was very surprised and touched by the number of people whom I am not as close to, that donated to this fundraiser. It was so uplifting to see our numbers rise so quickly and consistently every few days on the Tinykick page and from very unexpected people. Thank you to all those that donated at the actual event! I was very wowed by everyone's generosity and so glad that I was able to inspire support from so many people.
Thank you to everyone that came out! Again, there were a lot of people that were missed, but a lot of people that made the trek from outside of Tsawwassen to be a part of this special day. Thank you for being there. Your presence, every one of you, meant so very very much to me. Whether you were close family or a friend of a friend, you had the choice, to stay home, to go out, to relax or to party, to put your kid to sleep on time or keep them up past their bedtime... or to come to this event. You came and that in itself is an act of kindness. Thank you with all my heart.
Thank you to all the businesses that donated to our raffle and to all the people that offered to donate to our raffle: Sublime Art Supplies & Gallery, Nikko Sushi, White Spot, Ambiente, Flowers Beautiful, iDaburn Salon, Coco Cake, Lucky's Surf & Skate, and Thrifty Foods. It is always great when people agree to donate, but having people offer donations is extra lovely, so a special thank you to Michael Unger for Space Centre and Johnny Tomorrow Fringe Fest tickets, to Julia from Brick & Mortar Living for the generous Gift Basket and Gift Card, to Courtney Ewan from Matchstick Coffee Roasters for donating Bags of Specialty Coffee and Gift Cards, and to Stephen and Serena Wong for donating their Gift Basket of Seacret Skincare Products and Spa Party! To Coreena Lewis donating her illustration for our Art Card Token of Gratitude and to PrintPrint for donating their printing services. You guys have big hearts.
To my wonderful husband, Kevin. For becoming our dinner chef and single Dad for weeks on end while I have escaped to work and plan for this special event. For doing everything you could to make my life as easy as possible. For staying up late to bake cookies, setting up the photo booth, running around to pick up and drop off all the heavy props from here to East Vancouver, and taking care of the kids despite being completely exhausted. There is no me without you. I might be the face of the many ideas that come to fruition, but you are the one working hard in the background to help make them all happen. I love you and I am so grateful to have such a loving and supportive person as my partner in life and as the father of our kids. I am a very lucky lucky lady.
To one of my very best friends, Kate Flanagan for saving the day. For her amazing ideas, her incredible organizational skills, master of planning and logistics & thinking ahead, her crafting expertise and for having such a huge and giving heart. For selling her concert tickets to come help and be part of this very special day instead, that is a true friend. I know you know I know you know I know this day could not have functioned without your energy and pizzaz. Thank you for always being there for me and for making this day the very best. I shudder to think what this day would have been like had you not been there. And I guess while I am on you, thank you to Milos for assisting our dear Kate with anything and everything!
To Caela for babysitting my children and cleaning my crazy upside down house during the weeks leading up to the big day. Thank you for restoring order and sanity in my life. There aren't a lot of people that are willing to clean my house AND take care of my kids (and spoil them!) for an entire day. I'm pretty sure the only other person that does that is my mom... :) And Thank you thank you thank you for taking video of the head shaving!!!
Thank you to Kate and Caela for manning the booth and collecting donations the entire evening while I seemingly did nothing except freak out (as usual). THANK GOD FOR YOU GIRLS!!!
To Erin and Kerstyn. WOW.
I think that pretty much sums out how everyone felt about you guys. As for me, I worship the ground you walk on. You guys outdid yourselves. It was a hit. Those headwreaths were gone in seconds and the bouquets and boutonnieres were perfectly adorably precious. Your display was just stunning. Beautiful and simple, colourful and clean, earthy and fresh. A HUGE thank you to all those that donated their flowers to you guys and to your family for pitching in extra hands! Thank you for all the hours you put into this, so selflessly and with so much exuberance.
A separate Thank you to Kerstyn for capturing the majority of the moments throughout the evening. Thank you for being the photographer. With all my photographer friends working that night, it was a relief to have someone as talented as you offer even more of your time for mostly a stranger. I look forward to working more with you and Erin on great projects! You girls are AH-MAZING.
To my dear friend Jade, the most hard-working and amazing mama, for always making time for me and my family. For making our hair look fantastic and supporting me during the months leading up to the head shaving. I am so lucky and so grateful to have you as a friend. To have someone I have known since elementary school, who passed love letters between me and Kevin on the busses throughout high school, and to have grown into close friends since having our first borns 2 months apart, I could not have asked for a better person to shave my head!
To Rempel, how awesome it was to see you after so many years and to have you be a part of the head shaving. Your presence, as usual, kicked it up a few million notches! Thank you for coming out and showing your support.
Thank you to Oz for always fitting me into your schedule to do my make up and make me feel like a rock star! I always leave looking and feeling so fabulous :)
Thank you to Neighbour Cait for helping to make all the cookie dough for the Change A Life cookies while in the middle of moving and adjusting to life with two little ones. I am still terrified of baking and as usual, you did everything in a pinch with a clean kitchen in 5 seconds. Thank you to you AND your mom for your support these last few years.
Thank you to Doug for lending us his generator, to Janine Pham for lending us her vintage salon chair, to Sean McMurchy for building the platform/stage for the photo booth, to my in-laws Pat & Jan for lending us the van to pick up and drop off the big props, to Jan for sewing the lovely canvas banners to perfection, to Michelle McLeod for the raffle box and tickets, to Emily Hastie for lending me her wedding props, Altaira/Bronwen/Malloreigh/Lauren/Courtney for running around to bring in Vancouver raffle prizes, Ada for feeding and babysitting my children at the event, and god please don't tell me I forgot anyone!!!!
Thank you to all of you for being a part of one of the most important and memorable days in my life. Thank you for your love, support and all the kind words and messages I have received in the past couple of weeks. Thank you, thank you.