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2014-05-11 at NOON

Close shave

By Leith Dunick,
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Greg Stephenson walked into Intercity Shopping Centre Saturday with a full head of hair.

Both he and his father left as bald as they day they were born.

Stephenson, head of the Thunder Bay Police Association, said it was all in the name of a good cause. And they weren’t alone.

Officials with the Canadian Cancer Society’s Thunder Bay branch said they expected to raise close to $30,000, the proceeds of the 18th annual Cops for Cancer fundraiser that each year sees police officers and members of the general public raise money, pledging to shave off all of their hair in return for donations.

“We support this cause because we’ve obviously had members who have been affected by this terrible disease. We just had another member diagnosed, we had a retired member who just died of leukemia,” Stephenson said.

“Obviously our objective is to try and help eradicate and cure the disease itself.”

The support is overwhelming, he said, not only from their own police family, but also from other emergency services personnel and the public.

“Everybody gets involved,” Stephenson said. “It’s a way to raise awareness and let people know we’re not just out there giving tickets. We do public service and we try to help everyone out.”

Laara Losier is the fundraising co-ordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Thunder Bay office and said it’s a great way to gather in much needed money that’s used to help fight cancer through prevention, advocacy and research.

“It’s easy, it’s friendly for all ages and the amazing thing for us is we get people from all age groups and genders. So women come out and they either cut their hair or we’ve even had women come out every year and they go bald.”

The hair doesn’t go to waste, she added. It’s collected and turned into wigs, which are sent back to Thunder Bay and handed out to cancer patients going through chemotherapy.

“We give them out for free, which eases the financial burden for those patients who are feeling self-conscious. Because those wigs can run anywhere from $200 to $500 each,” Losier said.

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