Capital Electric employees brave the shave to support kids battling cancer

photo of Ron Lipp

Millions of hairs fluttered to the ground on Saturday, April 14, during the 10th annual Brave the Shave flagship event, held at the Missouri Valley YMCA in Bismarck. More than 200 people signed up to shave their heads at the event, raising more than $273,500. The money will be used to support critical research and provide assistance to families of children battling cancer.

Three Capital Electric Cooperative (CEC) employees were among those who braved the shave – Paul Fitterer, general manager; Ron Lipp, engineering and operations manager; and Braden Martin, lineworker. Zac Smith, communications and government relations director at the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC), joined Team Capital Electric and raised more than $3,000.

“Children’s cancer is disheartening to see, and it’s pretty worthwhile to support the research for it,” says Fitterer. “Some people would probably rather lose their left arm than shave their head, but [shaving your head] does provide solidarity with those who are battling cancer and going through chemotherapy, and I like that part about it. It says, ‘We’re with you. We’re raising money for you.’ More importantly, whether you’re fighting cancer for children or adults, you’re still making progress. So, I think it helps everybody. They continue to make big leaps in cancer, and I think this helps.”

It was Lipp’s third and final time under the razor, and he decided to go out in style.

“The grandkids were dying Easter eggs, and they all colored a stripe in their hair,” says Lipp. “And then I said, ‘Let’s dye it! It’s coming off anyways.’ So, I sat around with tinfoil on my hair for about 30 minutes. My wife said, ‘You can’t go to work with your hair like that!’ I asked, ‘Why not?’”

Before braving the shave, Lipp’s hair was more than colorful. He didn’t cut it for eight months leading up to the event. As would be expected, his colorful and curly locks elicited quite the reactions.

“We were in Big Sky and on our way back, we stopped at Perkins in Billings. My grandkids said, ‘They’re all laughing at you, grandpa!’ I said, ‘Let them laugh,’” says Lipp. “It’s for a good cause.”

If there is one thing the members of Team Capital Electric agree on, it’s that they feel a little cooler after going under the razor.

“You’re colder,” says Fitterer with a smile. “Most people don’t realize unless they shave their head how much heat you’re actually keeping in with your hair. But, I save a lot of money on hair gel! So, there are some benefits, too! And it’s a good conversation piece. It’s a way to remind people why it’s important to support the community and cancer research.”

Lipp offers this advice to those who are considering braving the shave.

“Go for it. It’s easy. Get a team together. Tell people that you’re going to shave your head, and they’ll give you money. Even if your buddies each give you $10 – if you’ve got 10 buddies, that’s $100! It’s just for a good cause. It’s for kid’s cancer.”

This year, Team Capital Electric raised more than $6,000 for Brave the Shave.


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