Truck Driving OPP Officer Will Cut Hair for Cancer
September 1, 2003
BRIGHTON, Ont. - Former truck driver and Ontario Provincial Police officer, Bettina Schwarze, is hoping drivers will stop by at the Brighton Applefest Sept. 27 to donate their hair for kids with cance...
BRIGHTON, Ont. – Former truck driver and Ontario Provincial Police officer, Bettina Schwarze, is hoping drivers will stop by at the Brighton Applefest Sept. 27 to donate their hair for kids with cancer.
You Hold the Cure is the name of the event and the idea, said Schwarze, is to get as many people to donate as much hair as possible to Angel Hair for Kids of Mississauga, Ont. The charity provides wigs for Canadian children with cancer.
“My attitude is that my hair will come back but children with cancer may not,” said Schwarze. “Sacrificing 12 inches of my hair is nothing compared to making life a little easier for a child.”
Schwarze, who works in Orillia, Ont., chose the Brighton Applefest as the venue for the fundraiser not only because she resides there now, but also because traditionally it brings in over 25,000 people throughout the weekend.
In addition to the hair clipping fundraiser, the Applefest will feature the 17th annual Fun Run, a pancake breakfast, a show ‘n shine car display, a beef and pork barbecue dinner, musical talent, antiques and vendors.
Schwarze says the combination of professional drivers, police officers and students who attend is a well-rounded mix and she hopes that everyone in between will also come out to support the event.
Having developed quite an extensive knowledge of the trucking industry and a relationship with the truckers on the road, Schwarze wouldn’t think of not including her fellow drivers.
Schwarze has patrolled Hwy. 401 for most of her career. When she began to carry a CB radio in her cruiser she was dubbed with the handle Goldielocks by some of the truckers she was sharing the road with.
She later became a part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) inspection team and she also drove transport herself for six years.
“I really enjoyed driving but I just don’t have the time to do it anymore. My whole goal for doing that was not only so I can do the enforcement side of it, but also so I could understand what the drivers go through,” said Schwarze.
She still maintains her Class A licence and uses it regularly, as she is one of the officers trained for the OPP mobile command unit.
“I would start chitchatting with some of the drivers while I was on duty at three or four in the morning – I get bored just as much as they do sometimes – and so I have really developed a respect for them and the work they do. They have helped me out on a number of occasions too, we work together out there,” Schwarze said.
Schwarze’s bond with truckers is why she has called upon them to help her out again with her fundraiser.
“I shaved my head in 1997 for the same cause, when some of my fellow officers picked me out of the crowd and took me up to the barber chair, and I thought what they were doing was great. I just felt it was something that needed to be done. It is hard to find even one person that has not been touched in some way by cancer, which is why I expect the turnout will be great this year too,” Schwarze said.
The hair clipping event will take place at Memorial Park gazebo in Brighton, Ont. Sept. 27 around 12:30 p.m. For more information, contact Constable Bettina Schwarze at 888-238-4531.
To mail donations, send them to Ontario Provincial Police – Cst. Bettina Schwarze, Box 117, Brighton, Ont., K0K 1H0.