A popular Edmonton fundraiser that has raised millions of dollars for pediatric cancer programs will go ahead this spring, after organizers announced last fall it would be cancelled.
The organizer of Hair Massacure has found new partners for the event, which will be held at West Edmonton Mall in March.
“Totally unexpected. I really, really did not anticipate that we would have a 2018 event,” Tammy Macdonald said.
In September, Macdonald announced Hair Massacure would not take place this year because contracts with the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation and Make-A-Wish Foundation weren’t renewed.
After that announcement, Macdonald was approached by several charities that wanted to keep the event alive. Macdonald said she chose to partner with the Children’s Wish Foundation and the Alberta Cancer Foundation because of the nature of both charities.
“These two were just so fitting with what we’ve been doing in the past,” Macdonald said.
“It really matched with our mandate. It was a perfect match. Hair Massacure is all about supporting children with life-threatening illness.”
Macdonald started Hair Massacure in 2003 as a way for her family to give back after her youngest child, Kali, survived leukemia at age two. The event encourages people to dye their hair pink, fundraise for the participating charities, then shave off their hair in a massive head-shaving event.
The Children’s Wish Foundation said it has been watching the event for years and jumped at the opportunity to get involved.
“We’re very excited,” development coordinator Jenna Brewer said. “It means that we can continue to grant wishes and even more wishes. It means that we have the support of the Macdonald family. We get to work with our donors, our families and our volunteers to help with the event.”
The new partners will allow Hair Massacure to expand its reach. It will now also support people over the age of 18 across Alberta.
Ryan Campbell, director of corporate relations at the Alberta Cancer Foundation, said they’re really excited to be involved this year.
“We have known of this event for years and we were really excited to get involved,” he said. “We were lucky enough to find that our goals aligned and that we wanted to do this event together.”
Watch below: Past coverage of Hair Massacure in Edmonton
Funds directed at the Alberta Cancer Foundation will go towards two programs: the Terry Fox Profile, which is a pediatric research program, and the Adolescent and Young Adult patient navigator program, which supports people in the 15 to 29 age bracket.
“It gives them age-appropriate resources and support to help navigate the cancer system in Alberta,” Campbell explained. “We’re really excited to expand the scope of what Hair Massacure represents, getting those young adults in, and also expanding the reach to more parts of Alberta, including the rural areas.”
A Hair Massacure event has also been planned for southern Alberta this year and Macdonald hopes to further expand the event across Canada in the future.
She’s beyond excited to see the event overcome these obstacles and come back stronger than ever.
“I really didn’t think we were going to have an event this year,” she said. “I believe this is a fate thing.”
Over 14 years, Hair Massacure has raised $12 million. Macdonald has a goal of raising $1 million through this year’s event..