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(Posted 9:30 p.m., April 11)
HaiRaising event helps make wishes come true
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Owen Wade, 11, gets his lime green dyed hair shaved off during the HaiRaisers Make-A-Wish event at Place d'Orléans on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

God bless the fundraisers, because without them a lot of amazing work and important initiatives would go undone.

And without a small group of volunteer fundraisers who support the Eastern Ontario Make-A Wish Foundation a lot of children's wishes would go unanswered.

Eleven-year-old leukemia survivor Matthew had his wish for a family vacation in Hawaii granted during the HaiRaiser "Get A New Do or Dye It Blue" event at Place d'Orléans on Saturday.is

The east end family will get to swim with dolpins, go deep sea fishing and take a helicopter tour all made possible by people like 13-year-old Justin Reid and his three friends, collectively known as ThECraZyHaiRKiDs, who raised $5,210 for the event and then had their heads shaved.

This is the seventh year Reid has raised money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the seventh year he's had his head shaved.

"Everyone grows hair and I just needed something to do with mine and this is perfect. I grow it out every year and don't let my mom or anybody else touch it until I dye it," " said Reid, who personally raised $2,000 this year.

Owen Wade joined ThECraZyHaiRKiDs in 2011 and like his three cohorts, he hasn't had a haircut, or even a trim, since he had his head shaved last year and he won't cut it again until next year's event.

"It's important to help kids and its a lot of fun to dye your hair," said Wade when asked why he keeps raising money and having his head shaved.

Wade dyed his hair florescent green before getting it shaved off. Reid dyed his hair orange with blue, pink and red highlights. The other members of ThECraZyHaiRKiDs dyed their hair bright blue and purple.

The money they raised brought the total amount raised during the event to just under $20,000, or enough to grant two wishes. Twenty-five people either had their heads shaved ot their hair dyed blue.

The annual fundraiser is organized by the Vœux Orleans Wishes committee, a group of volunteers who love nothing more than to help grant wishes to children who are either battling a life-threatening illness, or have survived a life-threatening illness.

"We're very excited about the turnout this year and we raised a lot of money too, so that's great," said committee spolesperson Ariane Sabourin. "The support from whole community has been fantastic."

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern Ontario has granted more than 525 since 1999. Across Canada, the Foundaton has granted over 5,200 wishes since 1983.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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