Seven years ago, CEO of Granite Telecommunications Rob Hale dared one of his employees to shave his beard under the condition that Hale would donate $1,000 to cancer research if he did it. Soon after, hundreds of other employees asked for the same deal: shaving their heads or beards to help fund cancer research.
That grew into an annual event hosted by Granite Telecommunications. On Thursday, at Granite’s Quincy location, Hale held the seventh annual Saving by Shaving event, where proceeds will benefit cancer research at Boston Children’s Hospital. In the past six years, the event has raised more than $28 million for various charities.
On the guest list for the event: former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, Bruins great Ray Bourque, and WEEI’s Greg Hill.
For every attendee who donated at least 8 inches of hair, Granite will contribute $2,500 to the Every Child Fund at Boston Children’s Hospital, a fund that makes treatment affordable and accessible to children who need it. In addition, Hale and his family will match each dollar raised. All hair collected at the event will be donated to the Hair We Share Foundation, which uses donated hair to make wigs for children affected by medical hair loss.
“I am more amazed by the generosity and bravery of our Granite teammates, their friends, family, community leaders and celebrity guests," Kimberly Meyer, chair of Granite Gives Back said in a statement. “Witnessing so many people come together to shave their heads or cut their hair to support Boston Children’s Hospital and its Every Child Fund is uplifting to say the least. Not all heroes have hair and today — I’m in a building full of them!”