Balding for Dollars returns for 13th year 

Charity event has raised $221,000 in Whistler for BC Children's Hospital

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - going bald Ray Warren will be shaving his 15-month-old beard at this year's Balding for Dollars event on March 28 at the GLC.
  • Photo submitted
  • going bald Ray Warren will be shaving his 15-month-old beard at this year's Balding for Dollars event on March 28 at the GLC.

Ray Warren's beard will be 15 months old by the time he shaves it off at the Balding for Dollars event on March 28 at the GLC.

Will he miss it once it's gone?

"That's a very interesting question," Warren said.

"It's grown on me, no pun intended, and I really like it. I'm gonna miss it, but it's a sacrifice and it can grow back."

Warren won't be parting with his beard for nothing.

He's one of several Whistlerites raising money for children with cancer through the 13th annual Balding for Dollars fundraiser.

"It's cool to see how it's sort of organically grown or been woven into the fabric of the community," said Dave Clark, co-founder of Whistler Friends and organizer of the event.

"It's one that a lot of people really look forward to every year and it's always a lot of fun. There's some familiar faces and heads out ever year, and new heads out every year too, so it's pretty cool."

Over the years the event has raised $221,000 for the BC Children's Hospital, Clark said.

"One hundred per cent of the funds get donated into the Balding for Dollars program, which is a patient program that is in support of kids with cancer, obviously, at the oncology wards at BC Children's Hospital," he said.

"Some of it goes to research, some of it goes to machinery and equipment, things that are needed on the ward (and) some of it goes to quality-of-life programming for really terminally ill children."

This will be Warren's sixth year taking part in the event, having raised about $500 in each year he's participated.

This year he's raised the stakes, setting a goal of $3,000.

To help reach that lofty goal Warren said he's looking into soliciting donations from businesses in the community and possibly holding a benefit concert — with a ZZ Top theme, of course.

Warren said it means a lot to him to be able to help.

"They're our future, they deserve a chance like anybody else, and if it means a little bit of money being sacrificed or somebody's hair being sacrificed, it's pretty much a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned," he said.

"I have a big heart for those kids and those people so why not? It's only hair," he added with a laugh.

"It will grow back."

Clark said the support Whistlerites, like Warren, have shown for Balding for Dollars has meant a lot over the years.

"The community has been so supportive of this event from the very beginning," he said.

"To see people's excitement behind the event, whether they're taking part in it, just watching, donating, just talking about it, is so great.

"Nobody wants to ever see children get diagnosed with cancer, and while we may never see cures in our lifetime we can certainly do a lot to support those that are suffering."

To donate to Warren or any of the other Balding for Dollars participants visit www.whistlerbaldingfordollars.com.

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