Peter Tennant and Vern Walker show their bald heads in front of Langford Rona. The store raised more than $20,000 for Tennant’s cancer treatment.

Peter Tennant and Vern Walker show their bald heads in front of Langford Rona. The store raised more than $20,000 for Tennant’s cancer treatment.

Rona raises $20k for colleague with cancer

Bald heads are everywhere at Langford Rona.

  • Oct. 13, 2011 8:00 a.m.

Bald heads are everywhere at Langford Rona.

Last Friday, 20 employees shaved their heads in support of their colleague Peter Tennant who is battling leukemia and needs a stem cell transplant from his sister, who lives in South Africa.

The Langford store and other Rona locations on Vancouver Island raised more than $20,000 in two months for medical and travel expenses to help Tennant — over twice what they’d hoped to bring in. And the fundraising continues.

“This is the biggest fundraiser we’ve ever held at the store,” said Debra Downton, who co-organized the effort with Vern Walker, both of whom work at Langford Rona.

“We’re always fundraising at the store, but usually it’s for outside charities,” Walker added. “When one of our own needs help, we really pull together.”

This week the Langford store has a silent auction of art donated by creative employees, and donation buckets at tills are still available to chip in.

Tennant, who began sick leave at the end of September, had his head shaved along with his co-workers. Some men also had their beard shaved.

“This whole thing has completely blown me away,” he said. “I’ll be forever grateful for what they’ve done. I’m looking forward to getting back to work here when I’m better.”

Tennant’s sister will fly into Vancouver and the two will undergo the procedure for the transplant later this month. Tennant could be off work for up to a year afterward.

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