Maggie Bell has a wonderful gift for a stranger who has cancer.
Her glorious ginger hair.
Maggie celebrates her ninth birthday later this month. And on Aug. 18, Felice Valvano at Valvano’s Hair Group in St. Catharines will cut off about 10 inches of Maggie’s thick, wavy locks. Her hair will be donated to make wigs for cancer patients.
Is she excited about getting it cut? Or nervous?
“A little of both,” said Maggie, who enters Grade 4 in September. “But I saw a commercial with cancer patients that didn’t have their hair and I am excited to help them!”
Maggie has turned her wig project into a fundraiser for two worthy causes: BRIGHT Run 2018 and Wise Guys Charity Fund, a St. Catharines organization that holds a variety of fundraising events. Over the past 27 years, volunteer-run Wise Guys has donated more than $3.1 million to a range of Niagara Region organizations.
“My Grandma Nancy helps with the BRIGHT Run and has a team called McMillan’s Madcaps,” notes Maggie. Grandma Nancy is Nancy McMillan, BRIGHT Run event chair.
“I was only a couple of months old when my family walked with Grandma Nancy,” she said. “The BRIGHT Run helps raise money for breast cancer, which is good.”
Maggie’s dad Gord says he and mom Lori are excited about their little girl’s generosity. Son Keith, 23, has volunteered with the BRIGHT Run.
“We support my step-mom Nancy and this is something we hope will give a little boost to the donations,” he said. “We are all involved in the BRIGHT Run in some form, from walking to donating to spreading the word.
“The Wiseguys are a local charity and they are continually giving back to the community,” Gord continued. “They are more than happy to be on board in support of Maggie in her venture. We hope she will be able to help them out with a nice donation as well.”
Maggie’s hair is very long – “almost down to my bum when it’s wet,” she says. Her maternal grandmother often asks why she doesn’t get it cut. Then a friend’s mom told Maggie she could donate her hair to make wigs. And the idea took hold.
“We talked it over as a family and decided this is what we could do,” Maggie said of the decision.
To donate to Maggie’s project, visit her BRIGHT Run personal page at http://events.hamiltonhealth.ca/site/TR/Events/TeamraisersTheme1?px=1033143&pg=personal&fr_id=1610 or go to Wise Guys at https://wiseguyscharity.com, click on Donate and send an email indicating you want to donate to Maggie’s project.
We’ll give dad the last word:
“This is just who she is and what she is about,” Gord said of his daughter. “I’m not just saying this because she’s my kid, but she is very sweet and generous by nature.”