Five-star charity effort
The staff at Five Star Barber Shop have been hailed as community heroes for their marathon 11-hour hair cutting stint.
Michael Chamberlian, Otis Rhoden, Alton Reid, Keron Anderson and Carlos Moreno snipped, chopped, cut, and clipped from early morning, until early evening, to get through the 217 boys who came through their doors yesterday.
As part of an event to help hard up families on the eve of the new school year, some $12,250 of school supplies were also donated to the 245 children who turned up at the King Street premises throughout the day.
Dwayne Caines, who along with twin brother Wayne, the Digicel Bermuda CEO, their brother Travis Caines, and Five Star owner Mr Chamberlian, helped organise the event, and he heaped praise on all those involved.
“The five barbers are community heroes, and that fact should not be lost on the Bermuda public,” he said. “They started work at 7.45am and the last boy sat down at 6.15pm, and they didn't stop all day.
“The response from the community has been overwhelming. Friends, colleagues, even people in the street have come up to us and donated money, time, goods. The community has come together in a really powerful way.”
Mr Caines said it had been ‘awesome' to see the business and local community come together to help out those in need.
“So many, too numerous to mention, donated food, supplies, water, juice, and funds to ensure the day was a success,” he said. “It was an awesome sight watching people in the community dropping off goods for the event.
“We also are thankful to all of the volunteers who came to assist; serving food, preparing bags, cleaning up, or just being a pair of hands and simply helping.”
Mr Moreno said earlier yesterday he thought he and his colleagues would end the day cutting nearly 300 heads of hair, and said he was ‘very proud to be part of such a great day'.
Meanwhile, Mr Chamberlian, said he would stay until 5am to get through all the haircuts, if necessary.
“I wanted to do something for the children and I love it,” he said as the line grew longer, and the day hotter. “If it takes until 5am tomorrow morning, it's no problem to me, this place will not close until the last child gets out of the chair.”
Digicel Bermuda CEO Wayne Caines was impressed at the large turnout, only a few hours after the event began.
“It's a lot more people than we expected so far and it just goes to show that when you are able to help someone, you should take the opportunity to do so,” he said.
Mr Caines said he was aware the cost of preparing for school was high and believed the event could help relieve the challenges that Bermuda's young people face.
“I believe there has to be an intervention at their lives at a young age, if you get every element including what we're doing here, I believe we can save our youth.”
The 245 backpacks that were handed out included school supplies, including 100 Chambers Dictionaries that were donated by Brown and Co, and other giveaways. Along with the cost of the bag, each child received $50 worth of supplies.
Companies that contributed to success of the day included: Digicel, Alpha Phi Alpha, Premier tickets, Brown and Co, Phoenix Stores, AFSmith, Security Associates Limited, Lancashire Insurance, Butterfield and Vallis, Cablevision, and Sandys Rotary.
Butterfield and Vallis employees raised $500 for the Five Star Barber Shop event by cycling a 13-mile route this past weekend.
The group received pledges from fellow staff to cycle from the company’s Woodlands Road, Pembroke headquarters down the North Shore to Flatts, around Harrington Sound and back via North Shore.
The money raised was used to purchase pencils, markers, binders and lunch kits that were presented to organisers who handed them out yesterday.
“It took me roughly two hours and the legs were tired,” commented Butterfield and Vallis Customer Service worker Laquita Sharpe. “It felt like it was forever.
“It was tough, but I did this out of the kindness of my heart and I wish I had more money to put in. We had lots of fun.”
Others who took part in the fundraiser included Butterfield and Vallis president Jim Butterfield, assistant general manager Steven Petty, Wayne Hill Sr, Mark Lombardi, Michael Mederios and Carolyn Conway.