CALGARY, AB – Pink hair, don’t care!

On Monday, Feb. 9, Calgary Roughnecks transition player Geoff Snider dyed his hair pink in support of Hair Massacure, an initiative that raises funds and awareness for the Make-A-Wish® Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities® Southern Alberta.

“I came and toured the Ronald McDonald House and obviously, Make-A-Wish® speaks for itself,” Snider said. “I didn’t really have an understanding of what these amazing charities actually do. When you get educated on the process and what these charities do for families and kids, it’s tough to say no to anything.”

Through participation in this event, Snider is able to help grant wishes.

Make-A-Wish® Southern Alberta has been making dreams come true since 1980 and has fullfilled over 310,000 wishes.

“Make-A-Wish® Southern Alberta grants wishes to children living with life-threatening medical conditions,” said Kim Anthony, Make-A-Wish® chief executive officer. “We provide hope, strength and joy to children and their families at a difficult time in their lives. A wish experience is frequently a source of inspiration for children undergoing difficult medical treatments and a positive force that helps them overcome their obstacles. Make-A-Wish® Southern Alberta is proud to be granting our 400th wish in 2015.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities® Southern Alberta provides an affordable home-like place to stay for families who must travel to Calgary to receive medical treatment for their child.

For the past 30 years, they have helped many families and children in need.

“Since opening in 1985, more than 20,000 families have passed through our doors and stayed with us while their child was in the hospital,” said Ronald McDonald House Charities® Southern & Central Alberta CEO, Larry Mathieson.

“Events such as Hair Massacure raise much needed funds that go directly toward our operating costs which helps keep the cost low for our families. For the most part, families are with us for an extended period of time. Expenses really add up so we do what we can to keep families together during this time at an affordable cost of $12 per night.”

While at the Ronald McDonald House® Southern Alberta, Snider had the privilege of meeting the source behind the entire campaign, Kali MacDonald.

It was her parents who really got the ball rolling.

“Hair Massacure started in 2003 as a result of my daughter Kali, who was diagnosed with leukemia at age two,” said Hair Massacure co-founder Tammy MacDonald. “It was a very acute stage so we had three pretty difficult years of chemo. Of course, with chemotherapy you lose your hair, so that’s when her dad came up with the idea for a hair shave at the local post office.”

Hair Massacure, an aptly named charity, is not just about dying hair pink. It is also includes a head shaving event while the idea behind the pink hair dye is to create awareness for the charities.

In fact, the hair dying started because of a dare between Hair Massacure’s founding family.

“We love this event, because not only does it raise a lot of money for the two charities, it raises a good deal of awareness,” Mathieson said. “The first year, people would mumble ‘punker’ at you on the street, but last year we were pretty excited because people would say ‘Is that that fundraiser that’s going on for Make-A-Wish®?’

“We were pretty excited that recognition started to happen in Calgary.”

The event, now in it’s 13th year, has grown significantly.

In the first year, there were only 42 participants, but now there are many across all of Alberta.

“We had 42 participants who we call proud victims,” MacDonald said. “That year, we raised $37,000. It doubled the next year. Our dream back then was $1 million. We surpassed that and now we’re at $1.5 million. Our dream right now, we’re feeling a little greedy, but it’s to hit $2 million.”

So far, the event has raised over $100,000 in Calgary.

Snider was excited to get involved and set his fundraising goal at $5,000. To date, he has raised $9,025 and hopes to continue to grow the total.

With generous contributions of $5,000 from both the Calgary Roughnecks Foundation and Cardel Homes, Snider’s total is at $19,025 and climbing.

“Geoff’s pink hair is proof that he is one of our biggest advocates,” Mathieson said. “From spreading the word about our event to getting his personal network involved to match his donations. When he comes to the House he’s curious about what’s going on and really takes the time to connect with our families one-on-one. He is such a great role model in the Calgary community and we are honoured to have him as part of our team.”

“We are so thankful for Geoff’s involvement because he has done such an amazing job spreading awareness and raising funds through Hair Massacure,” added Anthony. “It is important to have the funds to grant wishes but also critical to make sure that families in our community know what services we provide so that every eligible child can be sure to benefit.”

On Feb. 24, Snider was one of the many ‘proud victims’ as he had his head shaved by a Ronald McDonald House Charities® Southern Alberta family member, Karsten.

“Raising awareness for these two great causes is really important,” added Snider. “I’m honored and proud to be able to get the word out there and generate some awareness for what these two great causes do. Hopefully we can drum up some more support so they can continue changing lives and helping people get better.”

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