Fundraising challenge proves bald is beautiful
A lot of people are lucky to have an employer who will go that extra mile for them but Jana Mitchell’s boss has taken that loyalty even one step further.
Mitchell is the office manager at the Sparta Veterinary Clinic where her boss, Dr. Randy Pribbernow, has agreed to shave his thick head of hair if an effort to raise at least $500 for Sparta Area Cancer Support (SACS) is successful.
The cause is especially significant for Mitchell, who has worked at the clinic for 11 years. In 2013, she was diagnosed with stage-3c breast cancer and ran the gamut of surgery, chemo and radiation.
During that time, both Pribbernow and the clinic’s other owner, Dr. Karen Shae, were extremely supportive of her when she had miss work.
SACS also came to Mitchell’s aid, helping her out financially as she struggled through her battle with breast cancer, a lifeline not lost on Mitchell’s workplace. The Sparta Veterinary Clinic has been a supporter of SACS, participating annually in the SACS Walk and raising money for the organization.
Last November, Mitchell learned that the cancer had returned and she had to resume treatment. After that, she was named a 2020 SACS Honoree, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the walk was limited.
Mitchell is now working from home and getting support from her bosses as usual.
“They’re very family friendly and supportive with their employees,” she said, adding the clinic is more like family.
With her current treatment, Mitchell’s hair is coming out in clumps and thinning and she is planning on shaving her head anyway so she approached Pribbenrow a couple of months ago, jokingly asking him if he’d shave his head, too, for “Pinktober” (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) to raise money for SACS.
“He laughed about it but never really said anything until last week when he called and asked, ‘Hey, where are we on this head-shaving thing?’” recalled Michell, who said she would make the plans.
So, if the clinic is able to raise at least $500 for SACS, Pribbernow will have his head shaved on Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. Doing the shaving will be Julie Crocker, the clinic’s dog groomer, who just finished her own treatment for breast cancer.
Mitchell’s husband, Brian, will take on the task of shaving his wife’s head at the event, which will no doubt include the couple’s 10-year-old son, Logan.
Upping the ante, Dr. Terry Miller, the owner and veterinarian for Sparta Large Animal Veterinary Clinic, and Crocker have volunteered to shave their heads if $1,000 is raised.
Sweetening the deal even more is Monroe County Humane Officer Amber Dvorak, who has agreed to shave her head if the clinic raises over $2,000 for SACS.
Anyone who wants to donate to the cause should mail a check made out to SACS to Sparta Veterinary Clinic, 1701 W. Wisconsin St., Sparta WI 54656.
“We’re really excited to hopefully raise some money,” said Mitchell, who would love to see some other shiny scalps come Thanksgiving.