A year for balance, art, and harmony
Sunday, October 05, 2003
Bald can be Beautiful?
Well, it is October again. That means, for me, it is Run for the Cure time again.
Three weeks ago, tomorrow, after a morning prayer and staff meeting I asked that if any staff members would like to support me in my endeavour, I would once again be participating in Run for the Cure. I told of my story about last year's goal and the achievement (thanks totally to the support of many of your who are reading now) of raising over $2,000 for the run resulting in the shaving and donation of all of my hair.
Upon leaving the meeting, one of the staff members said, "Hey, why not get the students involved?"
"Sure," I said...and the whole thing grew once again from there.
That morning at the school-wide morning assembly, I told my story once again. This time, I was in front of the whole student body. That day, I started up the sign-up sheet. Day one, 10 students...day two, 20 students, day three 40 students, and the list grew and grew. Next there were waivers to sign, parent signitures to get, addresses and names to fill in on registration forms and donation forms alike. Two enthusiastic and bubbling teens came to me with an idea. Would you support us if we were to change the challenge to include the principal and other staff shaving heads if we reach certain goals along the way? Of course, I immediately directed them to the principal.
Teens can be so enthusiastic and endearing. By week end, there were several staff members enlisted with hair shaving goals at the $200 mark, $300 mark and so on along our "donation thermometer". Mr. D (one of 3 Mr D's in the school) offered to have his head and all facial hair shaven when the school reached the $1,000 mark. The principal's goal....$1,200. Who knew, that with such a short week last week (Thur and Fri were PD days), those goals would be reached and surpassed. Several brows started to sweat, but the program had taken on a life of its own by then.
While at the PD day the news came...one of the newly graduated students, and brother of two attending students had just been rushed to hospital and started on emergent cancer therapy. A massive tumour was found lodged in his chest. It was full of benign and cancer cells. I put my hair on the line at $3,500, while other staff filled in at $2,000, $2,500 and $3,000 a piece. By Wednesday, all of the teachers had their goal points met. There was only Mr. K and myself left. Thursday, Mr. K's goal was met. Friday morning, before classes began, the final donations were due.
Friday passed by like a bad dream. I had made wrong decision after wrong decision. I ran around trying to get everything in order for the dismissal time and the onslaught of team members scrambling for their running kits and shirts later that day. Another lot of donations had arrived after I had returned back to the school having stood in line at the bank for over an hour earlier in the day. I had one more lesson to teach, the photocopier was blobbing out my copies...I had a project and major assignment to introduce....then the bell rang. The predicted clamour arrived. There were questions and more problems. Then, I had to run to the bank...only one more half hour was left before the bank would be closed and our final team score could be tallied. I showed up at the closest CIBC...4:04. I rushed out of the van door, coins falling between my fingers as I held onto the last bits of donations. An then...
"Power problems?" "bank closed?" "other branch?" Downtown!!!??" Downtown was a Friday traffic jam and a pay parking lot away (not to mention the fact that the van was running on fumes). Yes, by the grace of God and the power of my van engine...I was able to get in line just as the gates were being closed across the entrance of the downtown branch. The final balance was in...(at least I hoped). Back at the school, I read over forms, filled in errors, calculated totals, totalled calculations....and guess what...now I am going to be bald too.
Tomorrow is the day. The students had raised $4,001.49!!!! I was at school that night again until well after 10:30 p.m. I fell home only to find out that Jerry had lost at his tennis tournament in the finals and while racing off to see a Father/Son hockey game at Skyreach, he had been sided by a new driver truck driver. Oh, I was so happy to see where the day had ended at school, but by that point I was glad that the day had in fact ended.
Yesterday was a day of final running....final balances needed to be done up at the Run for the Cure office. Final arrangements needed to be made for the next day. Final purchases and items to organize.
This morning I woke up amazed that it was actually the day. Today was the run.
It is all past now. The students were great. The staff that also participated were perfectly positive. The TV and I once again converged....this time as spokeperson for the school team. I knew I was loosing my hair on Monday, but seeing the many pink shirts (any breast cancer survivor was given a free pink Run shirt), the artist's busts on the breast cancer patients, the hair covers of many, many women and the support of so many wonderful people, I could only feel pride for our team.
We won the school challenge. As a team we were presented with a wonderful award plaque (like last year's corporate challenge that we won under the name Bridges.com) and a huge pennant. I was presented with a very, very special gift (a handmade silver and crystal bracelet) made by a breast cancer survivor/artist/team coordinator. I was also made spokesperson for the Run for the Cure (ugh....). However, the best experience was that I was there to see so many wonderful women's (and men's) smiling faces. We achieved a lot as a group in a mere three weeks. Can you imagine what this team will achieve a mere 13 years from now. Maybe we won't have to run for this cure anymore. Imagine...a world without cancer....these kids, I think they learned today that with a lot of work and a definite goal, they can do anything!!