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Shaving 'dreads' helps send children to camp

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It was all or nothing for Nicki Roy.

"Shaving it all," said Roy, who had her dreadlocks shaved off last Thursday afternoon to raise money for the Tim Hortons Children's Foundation, which helps kids from low income homes go to camp.

"Go big or go home, right?"

Wednesday, June 6 was Tim Hortons Camp Day, when proceeds from all coffee purchases would be donated to the Foundation. Roy, a supervisor at the Oxford Street Tim Hortons in Tillsonburg, was concerned that funds raised at their location might be lower than usual this year.

"With the construction, we weren't going to make as much money as we normally would to donate for Camp Day, and I had been trying to come up with something to do to make sure our donation is as big as it usually is.

"I figured the most unique thing about me is my hair, so might as well use that to earn some money for the kids. I never got to go to camp when I was a kid and I wish I had. So this way some other kids will get to.

"Also, I figure if I shave it all the way off, it'll help raise a little bit more awareness because I'm sure if my parents had known Tim Hortons camps were a thing, I would have been able to have that experience. So not only am I raising money, but I'm also helping other people know that this is an option. You get to have that experience, even if your parents can't necessarily afford to give it to you."

Ivy Simmons, one of Roy's supervising partners at the Oxford Street Tim Hortons, had the honours of wielding the razor.

"She's had to put up with me for the past year and I figured she's earned the right to shave my head," Roy smiled.

"I'm feeling a little guilty, but... she's been talking the last three weeks how she wants a change, and well, here's her change," said Simmons. "I've been texting her at 2 o'clock in the morning telling her, 'It's just hair, it will grow back...'"

"She actually got a text from me first thing this morning that was just a whole bunch of curse words," Roy laughed. "A lot."

In total, Roy raised raised $609 to help children go to summer camp.

"The goal was $500 - that was just for my hair, we raised a bunch of other money above and beyond that too," said Roy, noting she had been growing her 'dreads' for five years, inspired by her sister.

"I'm notorious for copying my sister. She got dreadlocks and it looked good on her so I figured since she always seems so confident with her hair, I wanted that too. But now I have my own confidence that I built myself, so might as well use my hair for someone else now that I'm done with it."

She chose the fundraising target of $500 based on the five years - $100 for every year she had been working on them.

"Just remember, it's just hair, it'll grow back nice and beautiful," Ivy smiled as she began to shave Roy's hair. "Remember, it's just hair darling, it's just hair. It will grow back."

The hair will grow back, but Roy said the 'dreads' may not.

"No," she sighed. "I think... it's a pretty long process getting the dreads in, I think this was the end of my dreadlocks. But it's nice to know that my dreadlocks have done a lot for my self-confidence over the past five years, and it's good to know that they get to do a lot for other people too.

"Wow," Roy exclaimed.

"Sorry, did I nick you with the razor?" Ivy asked.

"No, I'm just still freaking out a little," Roy admitted.

"Oh you're fine, just let me get the back."

Roy was scheduled to begin her next shift later that afternoon.

"We scheduled this for 1 p.m. so there would be time before I started my (2 p.m.) shift," she said, expecting customers would notice the change.

"Yes," she laughed. "I'm sure the customers will notice.

"Thank you again everyone who supported, especially a lot of people yesterday," she summed up. "I didn't think I was going to make the goal and a lot of my friends came in from out of town to make sure they put in their support. Really grateful for everyone. A lot of our regulars who don't even know me have been putting money in, literally every day, $5-10. You guys are awesome. This happened because of you and I'm super grateful. Thank you everyone."

cabbott@postmedia.com

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