Overlake Terrace expands annual Shave a Thon fundraiser

David Standring has been organizing the Shave a Thon at Overlake Terrace Assisted Living and Independent Living in Redmond for four years in honor of his sister, who died from breast cancer in 2007. - Samantha Pak, Redmond Reporter
David Standring has been organizing the Shave a Thon at Overlake Terrace Assisted Living and Independent Living in Redmond for four years in honor of his sister, who died from breast cancer in 2007.
— image credit: Samantha Pak, Redmond Reporter

Next month, Overlake Terrace Assisted Living and Independent Living in Redmond will hold its fourth annual Shave-a-Thon.

The event has been an annual fund-raiser to raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a foundation dedicated to funding breast cancer research and educational programs in local communities. David Standring, personal preferences coordinator at Overlake Terrace, started the event in honor of his sister Ann Morrison, who died of breast cancer in 2007.

"She was a really good sister," Standring said about why he wanted to honor Morrison. "She was the sister who kind of kept an eye on me."

Morrison was diagnosed when she was 37. She died at the age of 47.

While this year's fund-raiser will still go toward cancer research, 41-year-old Standring said they are expanding beyond breast cancer as many people have shared stories with him about their loved ones' and their personal battles with various types of cancer — not just breast cancer.

The money raised this year will go to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, which researches prevention and treatment to further its mission to eliminate cancer and related diseases.

"It's an amazing organization," Standring said.

In addition, Standring said his father died from a brain tumor and his wife's uncle recently died after a long battle with leukemia. He added that his wife's uncle had always been very supportive of the Shave-a-Thon despite his personal health issues.

"It's been a culmination of things that's made me want to expand (the Shave-a-Thon)," Standring said.

Expansion hasn't stopped at the beneficiary. This year's Shave-a-Thon will go beyond Standring and others getting their heads shaved in support of cancer research and Standring getting his legs waxed. Standring has done the latter on a yearly basis, but doesn't foresee himself doing it beyond the fund-raiser.

"I haven't taken it up as a routine habit," Standring said about the leg waxing.

This week marks the beginning of Overlake Terrace's first-ever Mustache-a-Thon: People have about a month to vote on four different mustache styles — the sportsman, ladykiller, cop-tache and biker — and the style that gets the most votes will be the one Standring and fellow participants will sport until the Shave-a-Thon on Oct. 5. The cost of a vote is a $2 donation. The money raised from the Mustache-a-Thon will go toward the final total to be donated to Fred Hutchinson.

Standring said their goal this year is to raise $2,300. Last year's Shave-a-Thon brought in $3,412, but Standring said he lowered this year's goal because he wasn't sure how people would feel about the new donation recipient.

To encourage people to donate, Standring has set "mini-goals" along the road to $2,300.

If they reach $1,000, Standring will dye his hair purple to go with the ribbon color for general cancer awareness. He will sport his lavender locks until the Shave-a-Thon next month. Standring added that he will probably dye the facial hair he is growing for the Mustache-a-Thon, as well.

At the $1,750 mark, Standring will bring in a dunk tank and give people the opportunity to dunk him for a small donation. Because Standring needed to reserve the dunk tank, he said this event will take place on Sept. 27 at Overlake Terrace.

"The final (mini-goal) would be the singing, which I'm terrified about," Standring said.

If donations hit the $2,000 mark, he said he will sing in the Overlake Terrace dining room at lunch. People have a few songs from various decades to choose between for the Song-a-Thon, which will be decided through votes by donation.

For more information about the Shave-a-Thon and how to donate, visit Donations can also be made at the front desk at Overlake Terrace at 2956 152nd Ave. N.E. in Redmond or directly to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

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