A dozen people left White Pines Collegiate and Vocational School yesterday with a lot less hair thanks to the school's Cuts for Cancer event organized annually by teacher Michael Maione.
Among those participants was Grade 12 student Kelsey Hroch (pictured) who was also presented with an Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year award for her dedication to the Algoma Residential Community Hospice (ARCH).
For the past four years, Hroch has been selling handmade keychains, bookmarks, and zipper pulls to raise essential funds for ARCH.
As a result, she's donated more than $30,000 to the hospice and hopes to reach her $40,000 goal by the end of June.
She was inspired to begin fundraising after losing her father to cancer when she was just 11 years old.
"After my dad's death, there was so many changes in my life and I wanted to keep the memory of him alive," she said during her address. "I chose ARCH because of the home-like environment that they provide for terminally ill patients. Seeing the amazing work that they do, I know it would have been a more pleasant and personable place for my family to be during our difficult time."
"To have such a young lady show such perseverance and dedication for an amazing cause is inspiring," Lee Skinner, fund development coordinator for ARCH, told SooToday.com. "She's an inspiration to all, not just to those in the school, but the community as well."
Hroch told us she feels honoured and excited to have been presented with the Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year award, and is confident she'll reach her end goal.
"Being here for four years and having my fundraising adventure, I'm sad it's coming to an end, but I'm looking forward to moving on," she said.
While Hroch doesn't have any immediate plans to start a new fundraising venture once the current one is complete, she said that it has become an integral part of her life and will likely continue her charitable efforts in the future.
For more information about ARCH, please click here
To learn more about the Canadian Cancer Society, click here