College Continues Unusual but Valuable Donation
By DAVID NEWELL ~ Advertiser
The hair loss associated with cancer treatments is traumatic for patients, but the good will of a local college is helping to make it just a bit easier. Corona College operates a school in Grand Falls-Windsor and offers many courses — from Mining to Early Childhood Education.
Students in the college’s hairstyling class use mannequins to practice their work. When the hair on the life-sized heads has been cut close, the items are no longer any use to the school, and in the past they were simply thrown in the trash. The Canadian Cancer Society in Central Newfoundland is now putting the old mannequins to good use.
The college donates them to the organization for use in their wig rooms to display wigs to clients. Cancer patients are also given mannequins to properly store their wigs when they are not in use. Kathleen Browne, development officer at the society, said it is a detail that makes a huge difference at a very emotional time.
“It is devastating for them,” she said. “If you came in here looking for a wig, to look through the boxes is not enticing. (Having the wigs on the mannequins) really helps you select one.” Corona has been donating the mannequins on a regular basis since 2000, something Linda Vickers of the college said is important to her students.
“We value the opportunity because it promotes community involvement to the students,” she said. “If we can encourage our students to be more involved it will make a better community for everyone. We give back where it is needed the most. We try to bring a little sunshine into peoples' lives.”
Not only do the hairstyling students save their old models for the society, they also take the time to shampoo and style the wigs, something which needs to be done on a regular basis. Ms. Vickers said this is a valuable lesson for the students as well, since they will need to be knowledgeable in caring for wigs when they begin working in regular salons.
The wigs are displayed in a quiet, private room at the Cancer Society offices on Pinsent Drive in Grand Falls Windsor. The rows of mannequins make choosing a wig a little bit easier for clients.
Ms. Browne said the demand for her organization’s services is high throughout the central region.
“We will have a wig room now at Harbour Breton as well,” she said. ‘We will be set up down there on November 3. There is a big need down there. We see less people from Grand Falls-Windsor than we do from the outlying areas.”
She said some people perceive the Canadian Cancer Society as a fundraising organization, but that is just one component of what they do. She said support for cancer patients and their families is one of their main activities.
Scott Penney, director of marketing for Corona, said this small gesture from the college has been a catalyst for their involvement in activities outside of the school, and he hopes it helps the clients at a difficult time.
“This has become the springboard for our involvement in the community.” he said. “This is something we will expand upon and continue. They have enough to worry about.”