Ray Ricard is a fantastic guy. He’s a resident at Deer Lodge Centre, Chair of the Deer Lodge Centre Resident Council, and recently, he raised $26,000 towards the refurbishment and renovation of the Deer Lodge Centre Courtyard!
Deer Lodge Centre Foundation has set a goal of raising $800,000 to transform the existing 40-year-old courtyard into a more suitable and accessible environment for the patients and residents who call the Deer Lodge Centre home. This will enable them to re-establish a connection to nature, enjoy quality time with their friends and family, and lift their mental and physical spirits.
We wanted Ray to tell his own story of how he started raising his hair, why he kept going, and what this courtyard project will me to him and the other residents at Deer Lodge.
So, Ray, tell us what you’ve been up to for the last year.
I’ve been growing my hair! Today is haircut day, Lucky Friday the 13th when I lose all the hair on my face in my head except the eyebrows. This is 12 and a half months of growing. I started with baldness, and back to baldness, I shall go!
What was it that inspired you to do this?
Well, they said they were looking for money, so I figured, well, I can grow hair. And I didn’t expect that much money to come along. I figured 400 or 500 bucks. And then suddenly, one of my buddies here, and his family, had a yard sale, and they raised over $600 for me. So figured I’d keep going to a thousand bucks.
And then, uh, Nicole came out to me and said that she’s got a donor that’s gonna sponsor you dollar per dollar until $5,000. I said, okay, I can still grow my hair. And then that $5,000 turned into $10,000, and here we are!
That’s so incredible, Ray! You’ve raised more than $26,000, which will go a long way in the courtyard. Why were you so excited about supporting the Courtyard Project?
Well, it was something that I knew it could help with financially, and I’ve also been down there, and even with my chair, it’s fairly tough to go up and down there. And then Nicole mentioned that, uh, it’s been 30 or 40 years since they’ve done any kind of major work on it. I thought well, hey, I can help with that!
I’m also part of the committee that is gonna be helping with the design and all that, so it’s fantastic, and I’m really excited about it!
Okay, to finish us off, you’re about to get an epic haircut. What are you looking forward to the most about not being the hairiest man at Deer Lodge?
Summertime! Last summer, I went up to Food Fair to get something, and all of a sudden, this bald guy passed me on his bike. And, of course, he was bald, and he wasn’t sweating, but I was, and I wanted to cut it all off right then. I can’t wait to go back to a nice, cool cut!
Thank you so much to Ray and everyone who donated to our “Raise with Ray” Campaign. Your generosity is overwhelming and very much appreciated. If you would like to contribute to the project, please CLICK HERE to do so.