Head shave raises money
Contributed - May 16 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

The 4th Annual Bands, Burgers, Beers and Balding (BBBB) event took place on Saturday April 7th at the Laurel Packing House, raising an astonishing $48,713 for sick kids across British Columbia.  The donation will be split between the BC Children’s Hospital’s oncology ward and the perinatal unit locally at Kelowna General Hospital.

Event founder, Bernie Ryan, and his team – Adam, Friso Stolk and Emma McDonald – presented the KGH Foundation with a cheque for $22,045 to support the Better Together campaign to open JoeAnna’s House, a home away from home for the families of KGH patients from across BC, many of which are children, who have travelled for advanced medical care.

As the main referral hospital for over 750,000 residents of the British Columbia interior, every year, hundreds of families from across the interior of BC must travel to KGH for specialized medical care.  Finding affordable short-term accommodation close to the hospital has become increasingly difficult, especially during the busy summer months.

“We see JoeAnna’s House as something really positive for our community,” says Ryan, who was awarded the Association of Fundraising Professionals Most Outstanding Volunteer  last year in Vancouver for his leadership in pediatric fundraising.  “Having a sick child is stressful enough, without the added burden of not having a place to stay close by your child’s bed side. JoeAnna’s House will be an immense relief for these families.”

“We have really enjoyed the support of Bernie and the BBBB event,” said Bettina Muller, Events Coordinator at the KGH Foundation.  “It has been really amazing to see how they’ve grown over the past four years, probably because it’s so much fun!”

Indeed, the lively party includes a BBQ, beverages and entertainment, with all proceeds going to the cause.  The highlight of the evening though is always the head shave, with the highest bidder getting their shot at the clippers.

This year was a special one for event founder.  It was his balding swan song.

“Yes. I am retiring from the head shave part,” laughed Ryan, who for the last four years has been the ‘head’lining shavee.  “BBBB will continue for many years to come. It’s time to make some room for some new heads on the roster.”

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