4 Local Scout Groups. Shave & a Hair Cut…


Scouts Canada Groups 20th St. Paul’s & John Wesley ( which combined after John Wesley United Church closed in summer 2015), 21st Eastside, Westminster #11, & #19 Korah West, came together on Tuesday, Feb. 2nd, 2016 for a very special cause. The 2nd ‘Head Shave for Cancer’ event took place in the downstairs hall of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church on Cathcart St, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Beavers, cubs, scouts and leaders from 4 local scout groups were gathered for their regular meeting night to entertain the notion, and ultimately give in to the idea, of shaving their heads for cancer awareness. Over 20 heads were shaved by three talented gals, who donated their time for the cause. As Joanne Viau, Leanne Murdoch and Laura Harten, stylists from Jackie’s Hair Salon (312 Korah Rd) were setting up the three ‘shaving stations’, the brevity & nervous anticipation of the participants, as well as the cheer section, reverberated through the church hall.

After collectively singing O’ Canada, three barber razors started humming and didn’t stop for the better part of an hour.


Kenny Hermiston, Scout leader & Area Commissioner for the northern ontario region of Scouts Canada, shared “We currently have 5 groups operating in northern ontario. There are 4 in Sault Ste Marie and one in Bar River. This is the second year that we put the call out to all of the groups to gather for this event. We lost a local leader and another leader who lives further away this past year to cancer. We knew we would want to do this (head shaving for cancer) again.”

Christopher Malais, Scout leader, who along with his two scouting sons, took the challenge to shave their heads, shared “For over 35 years, Sandra Barnes, was a dedicated and long-time Scout leader. She also volunteered in many different capacities in our community. Sandra passed away in November 2015. We really miss her, and wanted to do this for her as well.”


Scouts Canada shares the following re: age criteria. Beavers (aged 5-7) Cub Scouts (aged 8-10) Scouts (aged 11-14) Venturer Scouts (aged 14-17) and Rover Scouts (aged 18-26).

Alyssa Lake, Community Fundraising Specialist for the Canadian Cancer Society was in attendance to cheer everyone on, and share information on cancer prevention, especially skin cancer. Alyssa was encouraging everyone to grab a trial size sunscreen and think about registering for the upcoming Paint Night event, and/or Relay for Life (June 17th,2016)


Laura Harten, volunteering her skills as a barber, shared a humorous message while shaving one gentleman’s head. “I feel like I’m back at CFB Borden.” getting a great ‘wolf howl’ and laughter from the group. Laura was featured in a previous saultonline story, ‘A Barber in Afghanistan’, found here: https://saultonline.com

Laura Harten is now part of the styling team at Jackie’s Hair Salon. Jackie Viau and her new hairstyling business on Korah Rd., is getting set for the Grand Opening soon. Jackie’s Hair Salon is already open. Call 705-949-1798 for an appointment.

While there were some moments of self-doubt and ‘should I or shouldn’t I?’, by the time the last scout left the barbers’ chair, there was a camaraderie among the willing. Respect for the brave. Which ultimately teaches us all a lesson in bravery. And we are reminded of the brave and courageous people, who are fighting, managing, pushing through the mortar bunker where cancer lives, every single day. Here in our community. In every community. We are every community.

Feb. 4th is World Cancer Day 2016 . Trending tweets & facebook posts with hashtag #WeCanICan on Feb. 4th, will encourage individuals to get into the conversation about cancer, as part of a world-wide ‘Talking Hands Social Media Campaign’. http://www.worldcancerday.org

With the 2016 theme of ‘We Can I Can’, the scouts & leaders from our local scout groups, have already demonstrated by example, that ‘they can’, and did.

Taten Jude Hammerberg was on everyone’s mind on Tuesday evening at the Scout gathering for cancer awareness. He was sincerely loved, and his memory will live on in the hearts and minds of his fellow scouts and everyone in the downstairs Hall at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church on Cathcart St.

Taten was a scout in Scout Group, #21 Eastside, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Taten passed away at the age of 10 years on Tuesday morning, Feb. 2nd, 2016.

To learn more about Scouts Canada, visit: http://www.scouts.ca/

For links and ways to engage on World Cancer Day 2016, visit: http://www.worldcancerday.org

The Canadian Cancer Society can be found here: http://www.cancer.ca