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Hairless Whistlerites raise nearly $23,000 for Kids with Cancer

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Given that the average human head has about 150,000 hair follicles, by the time the brooms came out on Saturday, April 5, there would have been close to six million hairs on the ground (compensating for whiskers and mohawks).

In total more than 45 people stepped up to the shears as part of Whistler’s second annual Balding For Dollars fundraiser, raising a grand total of $22,813.50 in support of Kids with Cancer at B.C. Children’s Hospital – that’s more than three times the $6,500 raised last year.

"We hoped to raise around $8,000 this year, and we just blew that away," says Dave Clark, the organizer of the event.

"The generosity has been really overwhelming this year, and I know the money is going to help some really great kids at B.C. Children’s Hospital."

It took three hours for volunteer clippers from the Blackcomb Barber Shoppe to get through all that hair, and the GLC, which hosted the event was packed.

Almost a third of that grand total came from Chris Murrell, an employee at the Four Seasons construction site who had not cut his beard in 30 years. He raised a whopping $7,200 in pledges.

The three women who took it all off, Jen Vasseur, Sarah Cormode and Yvonne Baker, raised more than $5,000 between them.

Jake Vasseur, Jen’s nephew, was the youngest participant. The 10-year-old raised almost $500 in pledges from his school and neighbourhood. Together, the Vasseur family, which included Jen’s husband Derek and brother-in law Kyle raised $2,300.

Even the musical act for the day, appropriately Whistler’s own Hair Farmers, got into the action. Guitar Doug and Grateful Greg shaved off a pair of seriously grizzled beards after the crowd raised another $1,000 passing around the jar.

"The thing about being a Hair Farmer is that sometimes you have to harvest the crop," commented a cleanly shaven Greg.

Prizes for the raffle were donated by Whistler Heli Skiing, Canadian Snowmobile Adventures, the Chateau Whistler Golf Course, Trout Country Fishing Guides, the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, the Delta Pinnacle Hotel Vancouver, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, the Pemberton Trails Steak House, Summit Ski and Snowboard, and Delta Whistler Resort. The major sponsors were the Garibaldi Lift Co., Mountain FM, and Blackcomb Barber Shoppe.

Balding for Dollars is in its fourth year for B.C. Children’s Hospital, and this is only the second year that the event has been held in Whistler. The money will go towards family support programs, education materials, and medical supplies for the cancer ward and outpatient clinic at B.C.’s Children’s Hospital.

Last year, the fundraiser pulled in more than $450,000 from around the province.

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