After coming off an 8-4 win against the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday, the Oilers rookies kept the positive vibe alive Friday as they said goodbye to their locks and had their heads shaved in support of children and their families facing life-threatening illnesses.
The Hair Massacure once again took over the Ice Palace at West Edmonton Mall where a sea of pink hair and shaved heads was the norm. Along with donors and supporters, Oilers Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Anton Lander and Lennart Petrell were also in attendance.
“It’s pretty exciting, it’s great to be out here supporting such a great cause and it’s a lot of fun,” said Nugent-Hopkins.
“It’s so fantastic and year after year I think it’s starting to become a bit of a tradition in the locker room where the veteran guys go, ‘you know rookies, this is a great thing, great cause, you need to get involved,’” added Natalie Minckler, Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (ECOF) Executive Director.
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, the Hair Massacure began as a small family-run event in support of the MacDonald’s daughter Kali who had endured three years of chemotherapy as she was battling leukemia. To help her mark the 10-year milestone, Kali asked the Oilers to help cut her hair so she could donate it.
“I feel so excited because for one, this hair’s going to make a wig for somebody who wants hair and the other thing, I got an Oiler to cut my hair and that was just so exciting,” said Kali. “I’ve been so excited for this since the moment I found out and I just want to say thank you to them so much.”
After Kali’s hair was cut, she got to return the favour shaving the Oilers heads.
“It feels pretty good. How it looks, you can tell me,” said a chuckling Lander. “I haven’t seen it yet but it feels great and it’s a good thing to do.”
Also joining in the cause was Oilers forward Ryan Jones who put a spin on the whole concept and started the “Save the Flow” campaign. Jones teamed up with the EOCF and challenged Oilers fans to raise $5,000 by February 14 in exchange for him not shaving his famous head of flowing locks.
In just two days, the response was overwhelming reaching the $5,000 through the generosity of fans and a top up of almost $3,000 by CISN Country. Both Jones and the EOCF matched the funds, totaling $15,000 and will directly support Make a Wish Foundation Northern Alberta, the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Northern Alberta.
While the original goal of $5,000 has already been met, Jones is challenging Oil Country to continue supporting the great cause until Valentine’s Day.