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Winning day: : Dekada Gilbert 10 from West Pembroke with prizes (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Caines brothers’ Back 2 School Extravaganza was classified as a “resounding success” yesterday as 450 students received hair cuts.

Approximately 300 boys and 150 girls gathered in St Paul Centennial Hall on Court Street, lining up for haircuts and hairbraiding in preparation for the new school year this week.

“We would like to thank the 12 volunteer barbers, the 22 hair stylists who braided hair and the 50 volunteers, who without their support and dedicated volunteer-ism, this day would not have been a success,” Dwayne Caines said in a press release.

“The commitment shown by the hairstylists and barbers was incredible as many stayed the entire day.”

More than 600 school bags and supplies were distributed throughout the day, while children participated in games, dance battles and listened to local motivational speakers.

Chico Babon, from Raw Fitness Lifestyle hosted the fitness segment of the event which included a push-up competition for a prize of $50.

“This has been an amazing event so far, anything that the Caines brothers are involved in is amazing really,” he said. “I try to follow in their footsteps with my fitness business, trying to give back. This is my first time attending the event and it has been a great turnout. I’ve heard about it over the years but to actually see it and participate in it is a good feeling. The kids have been very receptive and it has been really cool.”

Traci Burgess, national director of the Duke of Edinburgh International Award Bermuda, was one of the speakers for the day.

“I think this event is amazing, I really have a huge appreciation for Michael Chamberlain who developed this concept and created this idea for the free back-to-school haircuts and then the faith that the Caines brothers bring into it,” she said.

“Not only their faith in their God that they serve, but their faith in the community as well. The impact that we’re having on these young lives here is just amazing.

“That’s really what the award is all about; it’s about the impact on young people, they are our future leaders and anything we can do to help out is amazing.”

Angela Thomas, owner of Kayz Hair Salon, said: “I think this is such a good cause. The atmosphere has been very nice and I’ve been here since 7am helping out. I think the young ladies are going to look fabulous for their first day back to school and they will have confidence.”

Zina Edwards from the Brand Lion was volunteering on behalf of her client, Security Associates.

She said: “My client has been a bronze-level sponsor of the event since the inception of this programme from the very beginning. When asked why he wanted to be involved in the event, the chief operations officer of the company, Dr Carlton Crockwell, said that secure families mean a secure community. That’s his stance and I support it wholeheartedly. I am proud of all the barbers, Mr Chamberlain, the Caines brothers and all the team here.”

Lynwood “Brother Richie” Richardson, of Soul Food Promotions, added: “I think the event is awesome and I’ve been a part of it for the past three years. Me being a community agent of change, it just makes sense for me to be a part of it and support it. It’s making a difference because people are getting a service that they probably wouldn’t have got.

“They are here because they have a need and the Caines brothers and 5 Star Barbershop are meeting it. It’s vital and it’s all about us looking out for each other.”

Mr Caines said: “We would to take this moment to thank the sponsors Platinum Sun Life Financial International and the other sponsors; Security Associates, Marsh & Mclennan Companies, Sunshine Company, Hiscox Bermuda, Deloitte Bermuda, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc, Dunkley’s, Especially Yours Laundry, Bite.bm, Next Level Barber Shop, St Paul AME, The Duke of Edinburgh International Award Bermuda, Bliss Hair and Nail Boutique, Soul Food Promotions, DJ Fava and Premier Medical.

“We would also like to thank all of the dignitaries, motivational speakers who motivated and entertained our students. This was an example of the whole community coming together to work for a common cause and this personifies this year’s motto which is ‘you are strong’.

“It is our goal that each and every student that walked in the doors of the hall felt the love and respect from the community and, as they start the school year, they simply do their best.”

Back 2 School Extravaganza: Selena Simons and Jusony Landy 9 from Prospect Primary School (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Ready to learn: the Rev Nicholas Tweed, with brothers Dwayne and Wayne Caines, join in during a circle of friends game as part of the Back 2 School Extravaganza (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Back 2 School Extravaganza : Candiss Steede from Shear Elegance with Yahzahra Gilbert 10, Heron Bay Primary School. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Back 2 School Extravaganza: Isaiah Cameron 11 from Whitney Institute receives a haircut from Five Star Barbershop (Photograph by Akil Simmons)