Dr. Brett Eckley, of Eckley orthodontics participated in raising money for the United Way of Southern West Virginia, and for the Miner Relief Fund in a very different way today, and his own words describe the experience perfectly. So here they are: “The Upper Big Branch mine disaster hit our office hard and close to home. Eckley Orthodontics had staff members and several patients whose loved ones were lost in the explosion. In addition to sending food and supplies to the families, we wanted to help on a more personal level. Our practice already provides braces treatment for needy families and we give time and money to various charities. Thus, I felt as if something more creative would be necessary and the idea struck me like a lightning bolt. “What if I grow out my hair and let patients and dental offices donate money in exchange for votes on my next hair style?,” I asked my wife. “Only if I have veto power on the hairstyle,” she said tongue in cheek. I immediately contacted Margaret Ann O’Neal with the United Way and shared my idea. Margaret Ann is always excited to help our community and she offered any resources at her disposal.” “The cHairity contest is pretty simple…a $2 contribution to the United Way allowed you one vote for my next hairstyle. The hairstyles to choose from was a Mohawk, a mullet, cornrows, or a jersey shore. We allowed multiple votes and some local dentists made generous donations to the cause. 50% of the donation goes directly to the miners fund that Margaret Ann set up in United Way. And since 99% of the money raised the United Way stays local, this cHairity fundraiser is a win-win for the community (at my expense). Whichever hairstyle has the highest votes is the style that I have to wear for 2 weeks. “My parents taught me the importance of giving back to the community and sharing any blessings that God bestows. I also believe that I have an obligation to help foster a sense of charity in the younger generation because of my daily interaction with local youths. This charity has allowed our patients a chance to get involved in charity on a personal level and to see me undergo a physical transformation as a result of their generosity and giving. It has been heartwarming for me every time someone has voted and I will wear my new hair with pride as a thank you for their generosity.” “The cHairity raised a total of $1532.00 and the winning hairstyle is Mohawk!” Dr. Eckley was cut this morning in his new Mohawk style. Thanks to Michael form Shear Style for the perfect cut, and thank you Dr. Eckley for doing something very different!