10th Annual Brave the Shave unites Bismarck-Mandan to fight childhood cancer

Bismarck-Mandan and beyond sacrificed hair, money, time and talent Friday, March 10, to help fight kids’ cancer. As a result, more than 215 bald heads roam the community.

The 10th annual Brave the Shave flagship event was held March 10 at the Missouri Valley Family YMCA. Hair was flying fast and furious and kids and adults united to raise money for the Brave the Shave Family Fund, which supports local families dealing with a childhood cancer diagnosis and the Andrew McDonough Be Positive (B+) Foundation, which funds cutting-edge childhood cancer research. Gold hair, blue hair, short hair, long hair, to ultimately no hair, there was no shortage of spirit, spontaneity, and generosity.

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Peyton Blowers (right) feels the head of her sister, Kenzie, after she shaved during the main event March 10.

“It’s unbelievable and so moving to see an entire community come together to support the common goal of fighting childhood cancer,” says Taner Ohlsen, Brave the Shave’s family representative. “The support from area businesses, organizations, and individuals is truly remarkable.”

Since Basin Electric brought Brave the Shave to the region in 2008, nearly 2,500 volunteers have shaved their heads and raised more than $2.5 million to help support area families and fund childhood cancer research.

Several honorees families were in attendance, and some even braved the shave. Twenty area children and five angel families were honored at this year’s event.

In addition to hair cutting and head shaving, this year’s flagship event included children’s crafts, online auction, face painting, balloon creations, and local mascots. Miss North Dakota International was also in attendance.

Joining Basin Electric as prime sponsors of the event are North American Coal Corporation, Bismarck Cancer Center, Garrison-Max Ambulance District, Starion Bank, and MDU Resources.

Leading up to today were events hosted by Kupper Automotive and Imagine Home Center, where local law enforcement and fire fighters faced off in the fifth annual Guns N’ Hoses event.

Additionally, the Brave the Shave campaign involves tandem events in Beulah and Linton, ND; Gillette, WY; and Brookings, SD. For more information, visit bravetheshave.coop.

Donations for the campaign are still being accepted and tallied. Donate to this year’s campaign at bravetheshave.coop.

“Every year we try to beat the previous year’s total, and so far we’ve been fortunate to do that,” Ohlsen says. “We’re hoping to do it again this year, but regardless of the final total, we feel great about this year’s campaign and all the good that came out of it.”

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