Since its inception, the Angel Hair Foundation has received the support of Market of Choice in carrying out its mission to provide cranial prosthesis hair systems for Oregon children who’ve lost their hair due to medical illness.
The hair system, unlike a wig, stays in place, is much more comfortable, and it helps children regain the extra confidence they need to keep fighting their illness, says Jeannine Jones, executive director of the foundation.
“Market of Choice’s involvement is so much more than its financial support,” says Jeannine. “In addition to being title sponsor, many Market of Choice employees donate their time and talents to make our annual fundraising event a success.”
The foundation was formed after Staci Maxwell, daughter of Market of Choice CEO Rick Wright, underwent chemotherapy and received a prosthetic hair system. Realizing that most children could not afford a hair system like the one she received, Staci and her mother, Debbie, committed themselves to helping other kids. But the need, they soon realized, was much greater than the two of them could tackle on their own.
“The need really was much bigger than one family could handle,” Jeannine says.
Incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 2007, the Angel Hair Foundation now provides upwards of 70 “Angel Hair Systems” to Oregon children each year, through fundraising.
To support the foundation’s mission, Market of Choice serves as title sponsor of Shall We Dance, the organization’s’ premiere event, held in Eugene each year at Venue 252, a sister company of Market of Choice.
“Debbie and I saw firsthand the transformation this hair system provided to our daughter,” says Rick. “It helped her get her life back and focus on healing. We couldn’t help but get involved. But what truly amazes me is how much the entire Market of Choice team supports Angel Hair.”
Created in a format similar to the hit TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” this high-energy competition features local celebrities, honors Angel Hair recipients, and raises funds for the foundation. It’s a big event that would not be possible without the help of many volunteers, Jeannine says. Market of Choice teammates have donated their time in many ways.
“Market of Choice and Venue staff members’ support of Angel Hair comes in many forms. They lend their expertise to help ensure that our event guests receive the very best experience,” she says. “That may mean working with their vendors to source higher-quality meat at a lesser cost for our food service. It’s them donating their time and talent and passion to bring a vision to life when we need a multi-tier floating cake. It’s the chef who spends hours in the kitchen creating a menu that coordinates with our event theme. Their passion really is inspiring, and their generosity is heartfelt.”
This year’s fundraising event will look different, she says, but the foundation knows it can count on the support of Market of Choice, despite the challenges of the current health crisis.
“The success of these events has made it possible for the foundation to serve every applicant who qualifies—that’s huge.”
Learn more by visiting www.angelhairfoundation.org.