Cowan Heights to host 10,000th shave Wednesday
The roar of the pride will be heard loud and clear Wednesday at Cowan Heights Elementary school in St. John’s as Shave for the Brave celebrates its 10,000th shave.
Nine-year-old Sophie McGrath gets her hair braided at the braiding station before she prepares to have her head shaved at the annual Shave for the Brave at the Avalon Mall on March 29. This was her first time participating, which she did in honour of her cousin Hayler Willar, who is battling leukemia. — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram
Geoff Eaton, founder and executive director of Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC), said the organization is hyped about the event.
“Shave for the Brave is the fuel that has grown YACC to where it is today,” he told The Telegram Monday.
The two-time cancer survivor said the fundraiser, developed and administered by YACC, generates about 75 per cent of the organization’s revenue, but it’s not just about the money.
“Its’ a massive spirit, community builder for everyone involved and a huge educational opportunity for the schools to have their kids involved to make what is a very significant sacrifice — to shave their heads bald,” said Eaton.
“It’s a massive event for us on several levels. It’s not a walk around the block and because it is such a big sacrifice, it’s not only incredibly powerful for the shavers, but for family, friends and the school community,” he said.
The first shave was in 2006 and shave time has become associated with community posters sporting a huge lion with a thick mane and the words, “Shave for the Brave, the pride is calling.”
Eaton said 45 schools have hosted shaves this year and as the 10,000th shave draws near, so does the $3-million raised mark.
This is Cowan Heights fourth shave.
“It’s pretty exciting, a big milestone for us,” Eaton said.
The Shave for the Brave is the brainchild of Eaton and YACC and is based out of the St. John’s office. It is delivered across the country in varying levels and schools in Nova Scotia, Alberta and Ontario have patriciated in shaves over the years.
“We’re not done yet, “ Eaton said.
“It’s powerful to see these little girls and boys shaving their heads. Our message is about participation, community involvement and the level of recognition they are making a huge difference in someone’s life,” he said.
First under the name Real Time Cancer, Eaton started YACC in 2000 to advocate on young cancer patients’ behalf, and to build a community of survivors and patients both online and through conferences and retreats.
He said most of the funds are spent in this province as the national head office is in St. John’s, however no one is turned away from attending the conferences and retreats, which can be fully funded or partially funded by YACC depending on the individual’s situation.