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Vet-tech student donates three feet of own hair to charity

By: Molly Hanzidiakou

Wei-Ling Tan after her remarkable haircut

Although she hadn’t cut her hair in the last 10 years, raising $4,200 made it worthwhile for a first-year veterinarian technician student at Algonquin.

On Jan. 5 at Sonny’s Bar and Grill, Wei-Ling Tan held an auction for charity to see who would win the chance to cut off her hair. Tan, 25, decided that after many years of growing her hair, she could use a change.  And in this case, it was a change of three feet of hair.

“I really needed a haircut,” said Tan.  “I might as well do something nice.”

Tan thought of the idea to hold this event at the restaurant she has worked at for seven years. The night included raffle tickets and door prizes, but the main event was the silent auction.  Whoever made the highest bid would be the one to cut Tan’s hair.

“Whoever donates the most got to decide how short to cut it,” said Tan.

This started a bidding war between Tan’s family and friends. Some people bid more money with the hope that they would win to save Tan, to make sure it wasn’t too short.  Others wanted to win just so they would be able to give her a horrible haircut.

“I had clippers on hand just in case,” said Tan.  “I thought, it’s going to look horrible but it’s not forever.”

One of Tan’s Monday night regulars, Yvon Blais, gave the winning bid of $500 on behalf of the Clinique Mots et Geste speech therapy group.

All proceeds will go towards the Terry Fox Foundation.  Her hair will go towards Angel Hair for Kids, a charity that provides wigs for children who have gone through radiation.

All her life Tan has been a tomboy.

“I don’t really care what I look like,” said Tan. “This was the first time that I noticed I cared what I looked like.  I thought I would look like an Asian boy.”

As it turns out, Blais was generous with Tan’s hair as he cut it below her ears, leaving her enough hair to work with after the event.

“I am way over my goal,” said Tan.  “I feel really good about myself.”

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