On June 7, 2015, five men and seven women participated in the Cherry Hill Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Johnston, Rhode Island, Buzz Off event and buzzed their hair to raise awareness for kids with cancer.
The One Mission organization’s Buzz Off campaign is active throughout the region. Teams form locally and host head-shaving events to raise awareness and funds, which go to local hospitals to help treat children with cancer.
Cherry Hill Manor got involved when the local team’s sponsor, Shirley DiBonaventura, asked if the center would be willing to host the Buzz Off. She has a family member at the facility and visits frequently.
Throughout the month of May, Cherry Hill Manor sold chances to win prizes, held a Taco Tuesday lunch sale, hosted a bake sale and donated all proceeds to this cause.
On the day of the event, more than 100 people showed up to witness the Buzz Off.
“The atmosphere was exciting and contagious,” said Tracey Arpin, activity director. “It was a perfect, sunny day with many people stopping by to show their support and join in the festivities also being offered at the facility.”
Families donated gift baskets, and people purchased chances to win them. Guests also enjoyed face painting, grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and upbeat tunes by a local disc jockey.
DiBonaventura took part in the head-shaving herself, along with her husband, John.
“I have three kids and five grandchildren that are all healthy,” said John. “I told my wife that this is a great cause and I’ve got to do this.”
Also among the participants were one of Cherry Hill Manor’s certified nursing assistants, as well as a resident at the facility who decided to jump in and support the cause too.
“This is for the kids who don’t have a choice whether or not they lose their hair to this awful disease,” said one of the people who had their heads shaved. “We are all here together to support them!”
Another participant added, “My grandmother had cancer and lost her hair because of her treatments. Now I can feel some of what she felt when she lost her hair. It makes me feel even closer to her."