Gary Smith’s family told him to get his hair cut, so he is – with a caveat: they have to help him raise $1,000 for the Margaret Salsman Cancer Care Memorial Fund.
“A very close personal friend has undergone 33 radiation treatments,” Smith said about his motivation for helping the fund, which supports cancer patients.
The retired RCMP officer and county public safety administrator is collecting pledges and will be getting his curly locks trimmed in public May 2, 7 p.m., at the County Fair Mall in New Minas.
“Gary and I have been very close friends since 1999,” fund co-ordinator Murray Salsman said, adding Smith was very supportive of the fundraising efforts over the years.
“When my wife passed away, Gary was one of the people who was there for me all the time,” Salsman said. Smith helped get the fund’s key fundraiser - Marg’s Glad Garden - started in 2004.
The Salsmans plant gladiolas and sell them to raise money for the fund, which helps cover the costs of cancer patients from Kings to Digby counties referred by a patient navigator.
Last summer was a bad year for the garden – only raising $4,000 – so the fund could use Smith’s boost.
“We’re looking for a better year this year, if the garden ever dries up,” Salsman said. He hopes to plant May 3. “This will be the 10th year as a registered charity.”
Donations can be made to Smith’s effort at Valley Credit Union, local funeral homes and directly to the Margaret Salsman Cancer Care Memorial Fund, 5387 Brooklyn St., Grafton, NS, B0P 1V0.