Fire fighter’s shave-a-thon nets hair raising $26,000

Sydney Brooks’ long, honey blond hair was bunched into several ponytails that were shaved off one at a time. (Photos by Kristina Edson)

A cancer shave-a-thon held last Saturday in Hudson brought in a whopping $26,000 and change for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Andrew Dumas, a Hudson Firefighter who created the event that has run for three years in a row said he is “floored, content and utterly overwhelmed” by the final tally that well surpassed the $8,000 he had hoped to raise.

Dumas, who successfully battled cancer more than 10 years ago, created the Hudson Fire Department Shave 2 Save Fundraiser to honour his best friend, Bruno, who lost his own battle with cancer.

Dumas still can’t talk about his buddy without welling up.

“I miss the guy every day,” he said.

The event he created has flourished each year.

When combined with this year’s total, the HFD Shave 2 Save will have donated over $40,000 to cancer research in three years.

And the effort is also serving as inspiration for many Vaudreuil-Soulanges youths.

Brooks, who lives in Rigaud, received a loud round of applause after her head was shaved.

Sydney Brooks of Rigaud had several long, honey blond ponytails shaved from her head Saturday. She was one of 15 girls and women donating their hair. The locks will be given later this week to the CanDonate Hair Program. The Pierrefonds based non-profit accepts hair donations which are then used to create free human-hair wigs for Québec children living with cancer.

According to the organization, they are the only such group in the province authorized  to accept hair donations.

Meanwhile, Paul Hollander, an 11-year-old student from St. Thomas Elementary School in Hudson also had his head shaved after raising and donating $1,050 toward the effort. “My grandma had cancer and survived it,” Hollander replied when asked why he wanted to get involved.

Dumas said he and his best friend agreed that in order to move forward they had to “do good.” He said doing good keeps him motived to do what he can to beat a “wicked” disease.


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