On two occasions over the past few days, I had the priviledge of dying my hair a super bright pink – magenta is more like it, I suppose. It wasn’t the color of my choice, but it was one that was more or less expected.
Many of you may already know the story by now. Several weeks ago, members of the Daily Globe‘s Relay for Life team approached me and asked if I’d be willing to participate in a little fundraiser. If they were able to get $500 in a "Penny Wars" campaign – people contributing money in a large jar in the customer service area downstairs – "would you be willing to dye your hair?" I was asked.
Well, I’m usually up for something a tad goofy, plus I figured my kids would appreciate it. "Sure," I said. I was quickly thanked for being a good sport, and the coin collecting quickly commenced.
Well, $500 is a heck of a lot of money when counted in pennies and other spare change. The cash began to trickle in, but the Relay for Lifers soon realized that $500 might be far too tall an order for a hair-raising … er, changing – experience. So, they changed it to $200. I guess they really wanted make this whole pink-hair thing happen, and the goal wound up being achieved with about 60 bucks or so to spare.
So … the hair ended up being sprayed by classifieds queen Sheila Kluever on Tuesday (not part of the original deal! I said) for Noon Kiwanis, as well for the duration of Friday. Noon Kiwanis was recognized, I should note, because of the generosity of my fellow service club members, as they chipped in several dollars one Tuesday noon when Darlene Macklin "borrowed" the coin jar from the Globe. And, it didn’t take long for me to develop a little more awareness – or, to say it better, appreciation – for what cancer patients go through. I could wash out my sprayed-on pink after lunch Tuesday (I ended up leaving it in all of Tuesday afternoon, thanks to several more Noon Kiwanian cash contributions) and at the end of the day Friday. Cancer patients, of course, just can’t wash away their illness whenever they feel like it.
As I write this, I’m still unaware as to how much the Nobles County Relay for Life event raised Friday night. While I hope it was a lucrative evening, I do also know it was a powerful one on many levels. Never mind the whole hair thing – to see a bunch of cancer survivors walking laps around the track at the fairgrounds is great to behold. It should be up to all of us to not only keep the number of cancer survivors growing, but to eventually to eliminate the need for the term "cancer survivor" – to eradicate cancer once and for all.