Making the grade for school

  • David Burt, the Premier, and Senator Jason Hayward greet barber Michael Doucet (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    David Burt, the Premier, and Senator Jason Hayward greet barber Michael Doucet (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Marsh employee Marionette Tannock with Ashir Graham (Photograph supplied)

    Marsh employee Marionette Tannock with Ashir Graham (Photograph supplied)

Hair served as the “hook” to get youngsters to an event designed to display community support.

The annual Back 2 School Extravaganza offered free haircuts to boys, braiding for girls, and supplies ahead of the start of the school year. Yesterday’s event was organised by Dwayne and Wayne Caines in partnership with Five Star Barbershop.

Dwayne Caines said the hairstyling served as the “hook” of the event. “It’s to get them in,” he said.

“Our responsibility then with these canvases is to pour into them and let them know the community believes in them.”

This year’s event — the fifth instalment — was held at the Heritage Worship Centre on Dundonald Street and attracted a packed house.

Mr Caines said Michael Chamberlain, the owner of Five Star Barbershop, approached him five years ago with the desire to do something to give back to the community. The event, first held in Mr Chamberlain’s King Street shop, quickly outgrew the space — 600 boys and girls were served this year, and about 70 to 80 volunteers were involved.

“It’s just been a tremendous outpouring of community support,” he said.

Nick Lawla, a barber at Next Level Beauty and Barber on Court Street, became involved four years ago to help “give back to the community”.

By 11am, he had already cut the hair of a dozen boys.

Roselle Raynor was inspired to take part after hearing about it on local talk radio. “I’m loving it,” she said.

“I’m waiting for more girls to come up in my chair.”

The Southampton resident, who styles hair on the side, was taking part in the event for the first time ahead of the start of her work day.

“God willing, I will be taking part next year,” she said.

Motivational speakers were also incorporated into this year’s event to promote the theme “Your Future Starts Now”.

Mr Caines said: “We have to let them know the community believes in them.”

“We’re trying to keep them busy, keep them motivated, keep them active. We want to show our young people that we care.”

He said the word complimentary, rather than free, was used with respect to the event.

“Complimentary is a relationship we are trying to start with them, so eventually they can give back to the community,” Mr Caines said.

“We just want to show them these are the people in Bermuda that believe in you.”

The event was supported by volunteers and sponsors, including Sun Life Financial, Marsh&McLennan Companies, Hiscox Bermuda, Sunshine Company, Especially for you Laundry, Titian Express, Bermuda Longtail Real Estate, Funkins Lunch Bags, Dunkley’s, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Chris Reeves, from Marsh&McLennan, said: “This cause supports the development of Bermuda’s youth, which is one of our philanthropic focuses.

“It’s a fun, positive atmosphere and our employees were pleased to help these students celebrate another year of learning.”

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Published Sep 8, 2017 at 12:01 am (Updated Sep 8, 2017 at 6:35 am)

Making the grade for school

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