Though it took place four months later then originally scheduled, this year’s Bluey Day didn’t disappoint, both in the amount of money raised and in being inspirational.
The event normally takes place in May, but was pushed back to September 12 to comply with the health regulations and guidelines. This year’s event raised $99,866, and as the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation’s fundraiser doesn’t end until September 30, it’s sure to exceed the Foundation’s goal of raising $100,000. The 2019 event raised more than $80,000.
The event saw 23 people shave their heads in support of cancer patients and survivors. Sisters Sophia (eight years old) and Gabriela Banks (six years old) were the stars of the event, as they had their shoulder-length hair cut to be used to make wigs.
“We want to help people with cancer. It makes me feel happy to help,” said Sophia.
Sophia joked that while her sister was nervous at first, Sophia wasn’t. The girls raised money for cancer survivors earlier in the year, and when their parents told them about Bluey Day, they were eager to participate.
“We are so excited, and are really proud of them,” Paoloa said. The girls raised $1,045 for their efforts.
Also having his head shaved was Alyn Jones. Having had lots of family and friends affected by cancer, he wanted to give back to the community, and did so in a big way, raising $10,045.
“Everyone I know working in the oil patch and in both Fort St. John and Dawson Creek were really supportive. I’m very overwhelmed, I didn’t know we actually hit this mark, it’s a pretty proud moment,” Jones said.
Jones sported a long and shaggy head of hair, and his reaction upon seeing his new look for the first time was one of both shock and amusement.
Raymond Avanthay was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphona, and was inspired to take part and raise some money in support of others. Avanthay raised $7,000.
This year’s event looked a little bit different, as groups of three participants came to the Fort St. John Curling Club’s banquet hall at a time to have their heads shaved in half-hour increments. The event was filmed and edited into snippets so each participant’s loved ones could share the moment even though they couldn’t be present.
“We got great feedback from the board, volunteers, participants, friends and family that this was a good way of doing Bluey Day,” said Asuncion Sta. Maria of the Hospital Foundation. “One participant said we made them feel like heroes.”
Bluey Day has now raised more than $2 million since the fundraiser began in Fort St. John in 1999.
Email reporter Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org.