Hockey NL officially kicked off their 500 heads of helmet hair challenge at the Grant Thornton Minor Hockey Week opening ceremonies in Stephenville, NL on January 11, 2014 when Minor Hockey Chair Arnold Kelly had his head Shaved on the ice as a crowd of minor hockey players in town for the peewee tournament swarmed around him.
Kelly’s Shave was a great catalyst to get the Stephenville Jets on board. A group of 12 players, administration, and supporters copied Kelly’s cut the next day when they Shaved in the of the Stephenville Dome after the tournament’s championship game.
We spoke with Ken Mills, Vice President of Minor Hockey in Stephenville, about Sunday’s event. Not only is he on the executive, he is also a coach and a dad to two boys, so signing up to Shave for the Brave during the Grant Thornton Minor Hockey Week was a no-brainer.
“Everyone has had someone in their lives affected by cancer,” he said. “I’m involved with minor hockey and I coach so many kids who will soon be young adults and I care for those kids also. I just thought it was a good cause and I’d like to help out something that hopefully we don’t need to help down the road.”
Luckily, members of the Stephenville Jets were just as willing to step up with him to represent Stephenville minor hockey.
“I put it out to my team and most of them agreed to go along with it with me. If they gotta do it, I’ll do it, too,” said Mills.
He says some of the players were on the fence until they saw the excitement surrounding what their teammates were about to do, and they jumped on board. Others had participated before with their school and didn’t hesitate when he brought it up. Mills says the weekend’s second Shave drew a big crowd, and they all had a lot of fun with it, but he expects it to be even bigger and better the next time!
“It was really fun, it was a great honour, and I was very happy to be able to do it. I said when we do it again—I’m not saying if because I know we will do it again—we’ll have more kids. The kids really enjoyed it, and they worked hard.”
The initial report says the Stephenville Jets have collected an awesome $2,500 so far! There were two 50/50 draws throughout the tournament, and Mills says some parents are still picking up donations, so we expect that total will continue to climb.
Thank you to the players, Shavers, parents, supporters, hair stylists, and Hockey NL administration for such an awesome kick off of the partnership between Hockey NL and Young Adult Cancer Canada! Keep playing great hockey, keep supporting your team, and keep stepping up to the roar of the razors!
We are now looking for 487 more heads of minor hockey hair—can your team do as well as the Jets?