Non-profit leaders -Are we having Fun Yet?

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In the past two years I have raced a clown, dyed my hair completely pink and shaved my head bald.  One might describe this as self-deprecating behavior but the reality is this is nothing compared to what our kids go through.  We don’t often talk about how hard it is to keep a charity running every day and providing support to families. Our staff are very well educated, experts in their fields and they work very hard. I would imagine every one of them would tell you what they do every day is a labor of love. A couple of years ago I loved my job but I decided that I was definitely going to find more ways to do my job while having more fun. I did actually have a 5 kilometer race with the one and only Ronald McDonald but that is really a topic for another post. This week I gear up to participate for the second time in a fundraiser called the Hair Massacure.  Participants dye their hair pink to raise awareness and a few weeks later they shave their heads bald. Victims, as the participants are referred to, raise pledges between “pinking” and the head shave.  Dying my hair pink wasn’t what I first had in mind –but it has done the trick in finding a unique way to add more enjoyment in my job.

Tammy and Gord founded the Hair Massacure. Their own daughter fought and beat cancer and they definitely know how much families need support the support of charities like Ronald McDonald House and Make A Wish. In fact that is why they created the event to pay it forward so that other families would have the supports that they had experienced during their journey. The event has run for years in Edmonton (this is the second year for the event in Calgary) and to date has raised over $7 million dollars for cancer research and for charities supporting children fighting cancer. A few years back Tammy told me that it was Gord who originally made the statement that for men it is no big deal to shave your head for a fundraiser and walk around for months bald as it grows back-lots of men are bald. I think he quipped “if a man dyed his hair pink that would be something.” Sure enough Tammy had Gord dying his hair pink for that years fundraiser. Shaving your hair symbolizes what our kids have to go through while they battle with cancer. Dying your hair pink beforehand draws attention and awareness to the campaign and in turn the two important charities that support these children and their families. So once again this year I will be dying my hair pink and shaving it all off on March 14th to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta and Make a Wish Southern Alberta. If you are in a leadership role for a nonprofit-do yourself a favor and don’t take yourself too seriously. Do something that is a little bit out of the norm to draw some attention and support to the cause you are passionate about.

If you want to check out my fundraising page-click the link below:

https://www.registrationlogic.com/secure/Fundraiser.aspx?F=2163

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