There was pink hair everywhere at MC College in downtown Edmonton on Friday morning, as the 17th annual Hair Massacure kicked off.
The annual event encourages people to dye their hair bright pink then shave it off at the end of the month in support of children battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses in Alberta.
This year’s goal is to raise $500,000 — which would match last year’s total — for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada and Terry Fox Profyle, a national pediatric cancer research project.
“The people of Edmonton are really awesome. They have come together for this event for 17 years and the support is incredible and I think it’s very achievable this year,” Children’s Wish Foundation development coordinator Jenna Brewer said.
WATCH BELOW: The annual Hair Massacure got underway in downtown Edmonton on Friday morning. Kent Morrison was live at the launch with details about the 17th annual fundraiser.
Brewer said many teams and schools have signed up to help with the fundraising initiative.
“Our top fundraising school the last six years running is Leo Nickerson and they’re hoping to have the top fundraising school again this year for the seventh year,” she said. “It’s the kids that have put it together which is incredible.”
WATCH BELOW: People were getting their hair dyed pink Friday morning as the annual Hair Massacure fundraiser got underway. Kent Morrison was live at MC College with the details.
Terry Fox Profyle is a joint venture of more than 30 pediatric cancer research and funding organizations to give children, adolescents and young adults who are out of conventional treatment options another chance to beat their cancer.
“What it’s done is it’s now networked across the country,” Terry Fox Run Edmonton chair Darrin Park said.
“It’s the first project in Canada where it started with 30 researchers, scientists, oncologists and funders who got together to fund one project. We’re not doing things independently but we are coming together. Collaboration does work.
“Terry said: ‘Together we can do it.'”
WATCH BELOW: The Hair Massacure began in 2002 by the MacDonald family after their two-year-old daughter Kali was diagnosed with cancer. Kali spoke to Kent Morrison on Friday morning.
The MacDonald family started the Hair Massacure in 2002 just as their youngest daughter, Kali, was finishing her third year of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with leukemia. She has been cancer free for about 16 years.
“It still baffles me all the time that people come out and the support team gets bigger and bigger every year,” Kali said.
“People just come back and they just want to continue showing their support, and even on a day like today with the weather the way it is, people still came out, they’re still getting pinked.
“It’s amazing to see the drive to show children they care.”
In its first year, 48 people took part in the fundraiser, raising $37,000. Hair Massacure raised a total of over $12 million during its first 16 years.
On Feb. 22, the fundraiser will wrap up with people having their heads shaved at West Edmonton Mall’s Ice Palace in support of children losing their hair from chemotherapy.
To help with the fundraising effort or learn more about the initiative, go to the Hair Massacure website.