Teacher shaves her head to support students and Terry Fox Run

By on October 4, 2017

Longtime resource teacher Alison Dulcetta agreed to have her hair shaved if students at Osoyoos Elementary School managed to raise $1,200 for last week’s Terry Fox Run at the school. Students ended up raising more than $2,500. Dulcetta’s hair was cut by Justin Purssey, who works at Saffron Hair Design. More than 350 students took part in the Terry Fox Run. See more pics on Page 14. Keith Lacey Photo.

If Terry Fox could run halfway across Canada – and become a national hero and icon in the process – cutting off her hair to raise money in his name was a no-brainer for an Osoyoos Elementary School resource teacher.

With the annual Terry Fox Run set for last Friday at the local elementary school, veteran teacher Alison Dulcetta wanted to do her part to try and raise as much money as possible.

Terry Fox was only 21 years of age when he covered half of Canada on his Marathon of Hope. He had to stop his run in Thunder Bay, Ont. after the cancer that took his right leg returned. He died on June 28, 1981.

When she heard fundraising was going slow, but steady, Dulcetta made it known she would have her head shaved if students could raise more than $1,200 for the Terry Fox Foundation.

Things took off from there and students went above and beyond and ended up raising just under $2,600 (as of last Friday).

With the entire student body of 370 students, as well as teachers and administrators looking on, Dulcetta kept her end of the bargain and had her thick crop of head shaved completely off as the students howled and yelled in approval in the school gymnasium.

The students then were separated into two groups – between junior and senior students – to participate in the Terry Fox Run.’

The students in Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 ran laps around the adjacent soccer pitch below the school, while senior students ran a short road course.

Principal Dave Foster applauded Dulcetta for her leadership and inspiration to encourage students to raise more money for the Terry Fox Foundation, which has raised more than $750 million worldwide in the past 35 years.

“Miss Dulcetta is the star of the show today,” said Foster.

Loud bursts of laughter could be heard from the hundreds of students as Foster grabbed the electric shears and cut the first crop of hair from Dulcetta’s scalp. Local hairstylist Justin Purssey, from Saffron Hair Design, completed the job.

A group of senior students detailed how Fox became a Canadian icon after running halfway across Canada on his Marathon of Hope back in 1980.

After dipping his leg in the Atlantic Ocean in St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980, Fox completed a full marathon of over 26 miles per day for 143 successive days before being forced to stop.

One of the young students commented Fox’s achievements will never be forgotten.

“Terry Fox was a true Canadian hero and he inspired so many people,” she said.

Teacher Dean Rowland also praised Dulcetta for being a leader and being willing to shed her locks to help a very worthy cause.

“She put her head on the line … she took action,” said Rowland. “Talk about taking action and making a difference.”

Dulcetta, praised all of the students for working so hard to raise funds.

“Thank you for all of the hard work you did … this means a lot to me,” she said to thunderous applause.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

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