LAC LA BICHE - Teens from the Lac La Biche region have driven up support and funding to a regional organization that drives patients to medical treatments.
The Road To Hope organization has received a donation of more than $4,000 from a group of Lac La Biche teens who raised money through two recent fundraisers they created with their own hands ... and hair.
Members of Lac La Biche County's FCSS Teen Chill Zone raised $1,000 after creating a recent Easter-themed Egg My Yard campaign, selling packs of brightly coloured mini-eggs to community members to brighten the yards of their neighbours and friends. An additional $3,075 was raised by Grace Best, also a member of the Chill Zone crew, who created an online GoFundMe page where she first coloured her hair pink and then shaved off her bright-coloured locks. Best's initial target for the go-bald fundraiser was $1.500. So with funds still coming in last week, doubling the target was hair-raising, says the 15-year-old.
"It really makes me feel great," said the J.A. Williams High School Grade 9 student who live-streamed the April 11 ultra-trim on the FCSS social media page. "I really hope the money we all raised can continue to help people in need."
Going bald for the charity is a first for Best who has rarely had a hairstyle shorter than shoulder length.
"Wow — it's a huge sensory thing for me. I can feel every single little hair," said the smiling teen following the cut at Lac La Biche's Omar's Barber Shop.
In the weeks since the close-cut, the teen has had some comments about her new look. Many who know about the fundraiser offer their praises.
"It's a good reaction mostly," said Best.
Another positive from the close-shave — on a personal level — is the time it saves her getting ready.
"I don't need the time to straighten or blow-dry anything right now," she said with laugh. "And my showers will be like five minutes now."
Christine Martin, the outreach worker with FCSS says the work that all the teens have done in recent weeks to raise awareness and money for the area charity is heart-warming.
The Teen Chill Zone fundraisers behind the egg-event were Nicholas Onciul, Adam Onciul, Chenoa Kaufman, and Cadence Kruk.
The Road To Hope Foundation is a regional group that provides clients with transportation services to medical appointments. The organization is staffed by a group of volunteer drivers and relies heavily on donations and community support.
Martin says thing have been a little quiet in recent weeks for the teen group due to the most recent COVID-19 restrictions, "but it will get busier when we are able to meet in person."
Anyone interested in joining the child and youth programming through Lac La Biche County's FCSS can contact Martin at 780-623-6754