Bald or bust
Head shavers and snowmobilers fundraise for kids with cancer
Some men around Kuujjuaq will be sporting extra-warm hats this week as they get used to being totally bald.
This past weekend, volunteer Maggie Peters shaved all the air off the heads of eight Kuujjuaq men in front of an enthusiastic audience.
They decided to go bald as a part of a fundraising challenge to benefit young cancer patients. At the same time, they wanted to show their solidarity with these children, who often lose their hair while receiving chemotherapy treatment for cancer.
The head-shaving challenge, as well as a parade through town and a reception, took place in Kuujjuaq on Saturday to raise money and interest for the kick-off of an ambitious snowmobile trek throughout Nunavik.
This snowmobile trek, called Expedition Quebec-Kuujjuaq, is trying to raise money for a regional fund within the Quebec-based foundation Leucan, which will help young cancer patients from Nunavik.
Bruce Turner, Kuujjuaq’s expedition organizer, said Nunavik children with cancer and their families suffer from the isolation of spending months – and sometimes years – in Montreal for specialized medical treatment.
Turner said Leucan’s Nunavik fund is intended to assist these families and organize activities “to help break the monotony.”
The four members of this year’s expedition, led by former Kuujjuaq resident Louis Guay, left last Sunday morning from Kuujjuaq, heading up the Ungava Bay coast from towards Aupaluk.
They then traveled along Ungava Bay north. In Quaqtaq, the students and staff at Isummasaqvik School organized a bake-sale and a head-shaving challenge of their own.
The snowmobilers also planned to stop at the Raglan mine site, where an evening fundraiser and head-shaving challenge would also raise money for Leucan.
Afterwards, the snowmobilers are to travel down along the Hudson and James bays, stopping in communities on the way.
The group wants to reach La Grande by March 3. As they continue travelling through the Abitibi towards Quebec City, they will meet up with the members of snowmobile clubs from this area.
“We will join the snowmobile community in celebrating the longest and most extreme snowmobile expedition in Quebec’s history,” says the expedition’s Web site at www.quebec-kuujjuaq.com.
The Web site features regular updates, including live-time GPS tracking of the snowmobiles, and details on how to support the expedition’s fundraising efforts.
As part of the fundraising, a Cruise North Arctic cruise for two as well as a pair of First Air return tickets from Montreal to Kuujjuaq are being auctioned off on-line to the highest bidders.