Airdrie family of four shaves lids for kids
All four members of the Irvine family are feeling a lot lighter after shaving their heads for cancer, Feb. 14.
The Airdrie family raised $32,500 through Kids Cancer Care Foundation’s Shave a Lid for a Kid program. Donations came from a cross section of the community, with family, friends, their church, classmates and a local ranch getting involved.
“We are just overwhelmed by the Airdrie community,” said Michelle Irvine, the mother of Carson, 7, and Jake, 5.
“People were so encouraging and so supporting. It was just awesome to see the kind of community we live in.”
Irvine said the family was motivated to take part in the fundraiser, which will be used for both cancer research and to send kids with cancer and their siblings to Camp Kindle, after Cole and Jake became interested last fall when they participated in the Terry Fox Run.
“For whatever reason, our kids couldn’t drop it,” said Irvine. “They brought home books about Terry Fox and they wanted to talk about it a lot.”
Sometime in the late fall, Cole asked his mom if kids can get cancer.
The question sparked a whole new discussion, ultimately leading to the kids’ pronouncement that they had to do something.
Wanting to encourage their kids, Irvine and her husband Lee got on board. Lee researched charities and came up with the Shave Your Lid for a Kid option.
The family set a goal of raising $10,000.
“(To Cole) the most money in the whole world is $10,000 and (he thought) that is how much we should try to make,” said Irvine.
Lee committed to shaving his head once the family raised $2,000, Jake agreed to shave his head at the $4,000 mark, Cole at $6,000 and Irvine, who said she has had long hair since childhood, set her goal at $10,000.
The family put posters up around town, called friends and family and gave presentations at church and school in support of their cause.
Irvine said she was surprised how motivated her kids were.
“I thought they would peter out,” she said. “It was seven weeks of fundraising and they were all in for seven weeks. It was good to watch them be so invested.”
Irvine said the family planned to shave their heads on Valentines Day, and had raised about $8,000 a week prior to the planned shave.
That’s when Irvine said she contacted Soderglen Ranches, located just west of Airdrie, asking if the business would be interested in donating to their cause.
“They said they would love to donate the bulls from their annual sale,” said Irvine, adding the sale was scheduled for Feb. 10.
Owners Stan and Jane Grad also offered to donate $500 from each member of their crew that stepped up and shaved their head at the annual auction.
“We were overwhelmed and so excited at their generosity,” said Irvine, adding the family stood on the auction block while the bull was being sold and as the bidding increased so did her level of emotion.
“That bull ended up selling for $12,500 because agricultural people are amazing and so giving and they just totally bid it up,” she said. “I was bawling on the auction block.”
Irvine said she remained emotional after the sale when Cole asked, “is that enough for the kids that need it?”
At the end of the day Soderglen Ranches wrote a cheque for $25,000 for the charity.
Elan Lee, manager of Soderglen Ranches, said every year the business chooses a charity to donate to.
“We thought those kids deserved some help to raise the money,” said Lee. “It was great to see our whole crew step in and want to shave their heads for cancer. We are all touched by cancer, so it was awesome to see.”
Irvine said some family members were nervous about shaving their heads, doing so has proven to be well worth it.
“We are happy to be able to give the money to the charity,” said Irvine. “I feel like we got more than we could ever give. We have always tried to teach our kids if God puts something good in your heart and you do it, you will be blessed and it will expand. We never had a chance to show them that before, now we did.”
For more information on the Kids Cancer Care Foundation’s Shave a Lid for a Kid program, visit www.kidscancercare.ab.ca