Fort Hope shaves heads for youth conference
Eleven Fort Hope community members had their heads shaved to fundraise towards a youth conference they plan to host in February 2014.
Eleven members of Eabametoong First Nation gathered at the community cable station to participate in the culmination of a fundraiser that left them without their hair at the end.
Wiichiiwaywin Organizations Meeting Group, (W-OMG), formerly known as OW Working Group, held a meeting in September where the group decided to host a youth conference this coming February.
“We haven’t had one (a youth conference) in such a long time,” said Stella Waboose, a member of W-OMG. “We have been fundraising and also receiving generous donations for this upcoming event, but one of our fundraisers was for our local CHR Bill Shawinimash and the health and social services clinical worker supervisor Sid O’Kees to shave their hair.”
Shawinimash and O’Kees are hosts of the BnS Radio Show, which airs every Friday on the radio station. O’Kees is also a member of W-OMG.
“That’s why we started with that pair,” Waboose said.
The others who volunteered to shave their hair were Louie and Peggy Sugarhead, John Slipperjack Jr., Heather Slipperjack, Robert Meeseetawageesic, Stephen Sofea, Jan Vandermeer, and Phil the Nurse. Their heads were shaved on Nov. 30.
Waboose explained that W-OMG decided they would donate portions of the funds raised by the hair shaving to both the Canadian Cancer Society and to the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto.
“We posted this fundraising drive and had more community members graciously volunteer for our causes, and we raised a total of $3,140,” Waboose said. The hair shaving was aired on the local cable station.
As well as a $1,000 cash donation to the Canadian Cancer Society, the community also donated the hair that was shaved.
“We all agreed to donate to cancer research because all have been touched by this terrible disease and everyone who donated, as well as our volunteers, had someone in mind because we all felt it (cancer),” Waboose explained.
W-OMG donated a portion of the funds raised ($1,000) to the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto because “kids from our community and our neighbouring communities have been patients there, and some still are,” Waboose said. “This hospital provides the best doctors to all children who walk into that building.”
The remainder of the funds raised will be going towards the youth conference.
“This is a worthy cause in itself,” Waboose said of the conference. “This conference will focus on youth empowerment. It has always been said that the kids are our future, and this is just the beginning of Eabametoong’s path to give truth to that phrase.”
Waboose said that W-OMG would like to express a sincere and heartfelt thank you to those who volunteered to have their hair shaved for the fundraiser.
“And of course, a thank you to the people of Eabametoong First Nation, Nurse Roxanne, Bushtown Jets, Taybinak Group, Andy Fyon, Sean Spenrath, Sam DeGrazia, Kaitlyn McCullough, and JCY Principal Nick Shaver for all of the generous donations,” Waboose said.
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