“So, after a very trying time in September where I lost my mother in the adult ICU, we wanted to give back to our community and we’ve chosen the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).” ~Loyal Wooldridge, Owner, Loyal Hair Therapy
Many know him as the charming owner of Loyal Hair Therapy, a busy local beauty salon. But Loyal Wooldridge is also fast becoming known for his sincere commitment to community through philanthropy.
To commemorate the 10 year anniversary of Loyal Hair Therapy, Wooldridge and his team hosted “A Decade of Empowerment” on Sat. Nov. 19 at the luxe new Lexus Kelowna dealership. The highlight of the evening’s festivities was when local media celebs Klaudia Van Emmerick and Cheryl Gillespie picked up the clippers and ‘styled the stylists’, leaving Wooldridge and a new addition to the Loyal team, Colin Ford, as bald as…. well… babies!
Prior to the event, Wooldridge and Ford took to social media to raise donations for the impending head shave. In a generous twist, event attendance was opened up to the entire community, with tickets by donation.
There was also a very special sentiment surrounding the celebration.
“The best part is that the event was in honor of my late mother and Loyal Hair Therapy co-founder, Adele,” said Wooldridge, whose mother passed unexpectedly this past fall at Kelowna General Hospital. “Our wish is that this gift will support the work of the caring KGH nurses, doctors and support staff who so selflessly dedicate their time and hard work to saving lives and helping families cope in difficult times.”
After all the dancing, fashion show, live auction and head-shaving were done, $9,250 was raised. The funds were gifted to the KGH Foundation’s Giving Giggles campaign, designated specifically for the purchase of state-of-the-art medical equipment and patient care items for the NICU at KGH where every year, hundreds of pre-term and sick infants spend their first several weeks of life.
“This is a very difficult time of year for families to be in hospital,” said Chandel Christie, Annual Programs and Events manager at the KGH Foundation, who toured Wooldridge, Ford and Ford’s family through KGH’s pediatric and perinatal units earlier this week. “We are incredibly grateful to Loyal and Colin and their community of support for the generous donation and also for sharing their wonderful energy with our patients and staff.”
Each year more than 1,600 babies are born at KGH with increasing numbers being born pre-term. The new NICU at KGH opened its doors to the community in March 2016 and with it, the most advanced perinatal unit in the Southern Interior region. The level 2B NICU can accommodate premature infants born as early as 30-weeks. The KGH Foundation’s Giving Giggles campaign set out to raise $3million to equip the new unit with the most advanced, state of the art equipment and patient care items in the country.
Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of donors and the community, the campaign is set to close this March 2017.