April 12, 2007
“Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow,” was the title of the HIV and AIDS fundraiser held at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church in Brooklin, Ontario on Sunday March 25, where over $3,900 was raised.
Trystan Yates-Owen an 18-year old first year student at Trent University had his long hair cut off to raise money for PWRDF partner, John Wesley Community Centre HIV Orphan support Program in Etwatwa, South Africa.
The program provides critical support to HIV and AIDS orphans in impoverished settlement areas in Etwatwa near Johannesburg, ensuring that the vulnerable children are nurtured and loved, not institutionalized or abandoned.
Trystan also donated his hair to the “Locks for Love” to help disadvantaged children 18 years and younger suffering from long-term medical hair loss.
The hair, which took three years to grow, was cut and clean-shaven within an hour. Trystan’s grandmother made the first cut. “For me it is just hair, if I can use it for a good cause then I don’t mind having it off…if you could give up something that could grow back and help out a log of people in need in the process, wouldn’t you?” asked Trystan.
The fundraiser brought together over a hundred people ranging from “toddlers to those in their late 80’s” said Tanya Hawthorne, chair of the St. Thomas’ AIDS Response Team (S.T.A.R.T) which organized the fundraiser.
Of the $3,900 raised, about $1,500 was raised by bidding to cut the hair or paying to shave Trystans’ head. The rest came from pledges, said Tanya.
St. Thomas’ Anglican Church has been raising money and awareness about HIV and AIDS since 2004 with increasing success each year. The children and the youth in the parish have taken keen interest in the efforts. The youngest member of S.T.A.R.T is in Grade 2.
For more information please visit St. Thomas’ Anglican Church website