For the last 11 years, we’ve been shaving heads to raise money for kiddos fighting serious illnesses, in support of, in honor of and in memory of Lilli Trippe. Pastor Tim Christensen started this tradition the way most traditions get started: an idea and a Facebook post. Six years later, at the Northwest String Summit, Brain and Shari Band made history by being the first couple to brave the shave. Now, it’s time to put this in the hands of the next generation!
This year, John Christensen, son to Tim and Sandy, and River, daughter of Brian and Shari are stepping up for the main event! John and River have been attending String Summit since they were knee-high. These days they can be found helping collect donations and riding the rail on main stage. So why would two amazing young people do something so dramatic? Why would they step off the rail and step onto main stage? We wondered too!
River says “For as long as I can remember the highlight of my year has been getting to travel to my home away from home for a week each summer. In 2011 a little girl changed the dynamic of the entire festival. Sunday quickly became my favorite day of the festival, seeing all of the supportive people wearing pink and letting loose made me feel amazing. As a kid I never imagined that I would get a chance to be one of the people up on that stage getting my head shaved. When my parents did the head shave 4 years ago I no longer had a doubt in my mind that I would be doing it someday. Lilli Trippe has changed so many lives, and I know that she has touched my heart in a big way! The message of hope that is spread every year on frilly for Lilli day is more powerful than words can explain. Ever since that day I first heard Lilli’s story, I have tried my best to make a difference. All we really need is a little bit of hope.”
John wrote “I am shaving my head in honor of Lilli Trippe, to raise awareness of childhood cancer, and to raise money for an organization called Chelsea’s Closet, that donates costumes to terminally-ill young patients, to give them a chance to be kids, and not hospital patients, if even for a day.
When I first met Lilli, the first thing I noticed was her smile. Not the fact that chemo had taken her hair or that she had a tube. I noticed that despite all that she was dealing with, she was giggling, grinning ear to ear and twirling around in the grass just like any other kid her age. In times of hardship in my life, that smile still sticks with me. That’s why I am doing what I’m doing. What I am doing is not about me. All I am doing it getting up on a stage and letting someone take a razor to the locks I have been growing out since high school. What this is really about is helping terminally-ill children… and YOU! Without you, me getting my head shaved is just a spectacle. YOU give it meaning. With your support and whatever you can give (even $10 will make a difference), Chelsea’s Closet will be able to help give even more terminally ill kids the Lilli Trippe smile, and a chance to escape into the world of make-believe that kids so easily dive into.Even if (for some crazy reason) you won’t be able to make it Home to Hornings Hideout this July 16-19, you can still donate! Whether it’s $100 or $10, know that every little bit will add up to make a world of difference in the life of someone truly amazing. And when you hit that Donate button, I hope that YOU get that Lilli Trippe smile, even just for a moment.“
We are so thrilled to see John and River take such a brave step. Support them both by donating here.