For the fifth straight year the Houston Dynamo and Dynamo Charities, presented by Halliburton Charitable Foundation, launched the Bald is Beautiful campaign, a campaign designed to raise money and awareness for children’s cancer research. The campaign, which is spearheaded by Dynamo players Will Bruin and Mike Chabala, benefits the Curing Children’s Cancer Fund, an organization with a mission to find a cure for childhood cancer by providing financial support for some of the country’s leading pediatric cancer researchers.
The campaign includes two key events this year: A Celebrity Pour and head-shaving event at The Dogwood, which took place on August 13, and a possible record setting head-shaving event which will take place before the Dynamo home game against the Seattle Sounders this weekend on Saturday, August 17, 2013.
“Any time you can get involved in the community and be able to go places like the hospitals, to see what these kids go through, it’s a humbling experience and makes you appreciate what you have and what you can do,” said Bruin, a St. Louis, Missouri native.
“I think interacting with the kids is my favourite part. Any time I get some time I like to get over to the hospital just to say hi and stuff, but I think that when the kids get to come out and they get to shave our heads it’s a really fun time and great experience for them and it’s fun to interact with them.”
Starting at 2 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, patients from Houston-area hospitals took part in the head-shaving of Dynamo players Will Bruin, Bobby Boswell, Brad Davis, Andrew Driver, Tally Hall, Cam Weaver, and assistant coach Tim Hanley as part of the campaign.
Bruin, 23, is spearheading the campaign this year along with Mike Chabala, a veteran in his second stint with the Dynamo who spearheaded the campaign during Bruin’s rookie season back in 2011.
“Well my first year, Mike Chabala was here in Houston and he was running it. Then he went to Portland and nobody really stepped up to do it, so I decided I would take over for him,” explained the Dynamo forward.
“Now in my third year he’s back in Houston, so we’re both running it together. I didn’t want it to die out when he left so I thought it would be a good idea to step up and get involved with it.”
The Celebrity Pour, which was also held Tuesday evening, was an event that featured Dynamo players tending bar. Proceeds from all drink sales and a silent auction went towards Bald is Beautiful.
For someone like Will Bruin who didn’t really get exposed to community and charity work until he hit the professional level, he has started to find a passion for getting out into the community and interacting with the fans.
“It was more so once I got to the MLS and realized how it’s more about the whole city as opposed to just playing soccer. I realized that sometimes I had more time than I thought, so I figured I would start getting out into the community to give back to the fans that support us,” described Bruin.
Now, in just his third season with the Dynamo, Bruin is taking on a larger role with the organization. He took over the Bald is Beautiful campaign when Chabala first left Houston just to keep it going and now he’s attempting to put it on a national level by attempting to break the Guinness World Record for most heads shaved in an hour this Saturday before the Dynamo-Sounders game.
“We’re trying to get a world record of people shaving their heads this year and it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Bruin.
The Dynamo players are no strangers in the Houston community, with many of them running their own initiatives. Calen Carr has Calen’s Big Play, Bobby Boswell has Bobby Boots Breast Cancer, Brian Ching has Ching’s Champions, Brad Davis has Brad and Tally’s Banded Brigade and Adam Moffat has Adam’s Toy Chest, so it’s no surprise that Will Bruin now runs Bald is Beautiful at such a young age. When you sit down in the dressing room and look around and see so many people doing amazing things in the community, it’s hard not to want to follow in their footsteps and do the same for those that support you on a daily basis.
“It’s definitely something that I think the Dynamo and the players on our team take pride in. It’s more about life and everybody as opposed to just going out to play soccer. I think, obviously, with our profession getting the results and stuff comes first, but, it’s awesome that we have so many guys and that our Dynamo Charities are so involved in the community that guys on our team are able to do things.”
To register (requires $10 donation benefitting Bald is Beautiful) for the head-shaving event on August 17, visit www.houstondynamo.com/baldisbeautiful.
A $50 package is available, which includes two tickets to the Dynamo vs. Sounders game on August 17, two Bald is Beautiful t-shirts, and two passes for the post-game meet-and-greet with Dynamo players.
For more information on Dynamo Charities, visit http://www.houstondynamo.com/charities
For more information on the Curing Children’s Cancer Fund, visit http://cccfund.org/