Kelowna mayor, Westbank First Nations Chief shave heads for OK College fundraiser

Shaggy beards and untamed locks are an inevitable consequence of almost six weeks of physical distancing amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

A community fundraiser launched by the Okanagan College Foundation is encouraging those who want to take matters into their own hands to do so for a good cause.

Haircuts for Health Care is inviting people to open up their own self-isolation salon and hand the scissors to their spouse or children.

Every chop, snip and buzz will help raise vital funds to open the doors to a state-of-the-art new Health Sciences Centre currently under construction at the College’s Kelowna campus.

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Two prominent Okanagan figures jumped in on the action and shaved their heads in front of the media on Sunday afternoon.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and Westbank First Nation Chief Christopher Derickson raised $20,000 between the two of them to go towards the new building.

“This is for a very worthy cause, I’m glad to have been a part of it, I’m very excited to see the amount of support that we generated from this campaign and they still need to raise money,” Derickson added.

Okanagan College Foundation executive director Helen Jackman says the fundraiser is a fun way to support and celebrate those working on the frontlines.

“Haircuts for Healthcare reflects the reality that our collective hair is getting out of control. Combine that with the desire to support health care in the Okanagan and voila, the self-isolation salon was born,” Jackman said.

“Every dollar raised will help Okanagan College open the doors to the new Health Sciences Centre and prepare the next generation of health care professionals.”

The B.C. government has contributed $15.4 million toward the $18.9-million centre.

The OC Foundation is seeking to raise $5 million in total toward the construction of the project as well as support for programs and awards for students.

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