A Sudbury woman allowed her head to be shaved Saturday as a gesture of support for cancer victims. In the process, Karen Falldien Yawney also raised $14,700 for the Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer (NOFCC), an organization that provides support and relief to Northern Ontario families.
The event took place at the Timberwolf Golf Club where scores of friends and supporters were on hand as the scissors came out to gradually snip away at her long blonde hair.
Yawney was philosophical about the gesture, having done a head shave before about five years ago in support of a friend's child who had cancer.
"Oh it will grow back; it grows fast," said Yawney with a beaming smile. She said this latest effort was inspired again by a family friend whose child has cancer.
She added that she was aware that the pandemic has made fundraising difficult for so many charitable organizations so she was pleased to be able to help out in her own way. Yawney added that she was grateful for the support from her many friends and business contacts who shared their generosity.
When the moment of truth came, Yawney sat in a chair on the outdoor patio deck at Timberwolf as friends gathered around. Also donating their time were Talk of the Town Salon and Day Spa owner Haven Kyle and hairstylist Ricky Gervais. Yawney's hair was gradually snipped away and then electric clippers trimmed the hair down to her scalp. Yawney smiled through it all as friends joked and applauded her effort.
Dayna Caruso, executive director of NOFCC, said the gesture by Yawney was more than generous considering that the pandemic has made community fundraising a far more difficult effort than ever before.
"This is a beautiful gesture. Karen has raised a phenomenal amount of money to help our organization. And of course, like all organizations right now we are suffering because nearly all of our annual fundraisers have been cancelled," Caruso explained.
She said the event was not just about money but also about awareness in the community for the work that NOFCC does to help families that have children with cancer. She said the timing was important because September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Caruso said NOFCC does not receive any government funds and relies solely on the generosity of the community, corporations and businesses for support. She said the funds are provided to families for the many unexpected expenses that occur when families have to look after children who need cancer treatments. She said it could be parking expenses, meals, travel and lost income and other expenses not covered by OHIP.
She said NOFCC supports more than 200 families across all of Northern Ontario.