A Beaverbrook barber is raising funds by shaving his beard in memory of his wife.
Domenic Morabito, who co-owns the Kanata Barbershop in the Beaverbrook Mall, wanted to do something positive to honour his wife’s memory.
Carmen Amelia passed away just before her 70th birthday in March, after a 30-year battle with cancer.
On March 23, a day after the first-year anniversary of Carmen’s passing, Morabito will shave his whiskers to raise funds for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, which has a tribute fund set up in Carmen’s name.
The idea came to him after his granddaughters convinced him to grow a beard in time for Christmas. He began growing his facial hair in October, so he could look like Santa in time for the holidays.
“I got the idea from Movember,” said Morabito, who lives in Stittsville.
Movemeber encourages men to grow mustaches and raise funds for prostate cancer.
“This is dad’s way of putting a positive spin on this,” said his daughter Vicky Busa.
And in a twist of goodwill, an anonymous donor in the Ottawa area is matching all funds raised, dollar for dollar.
“It all gets attributed to mom’s tribute fund, so that’s really cool,” said Busa. “It’s double the impact.”
The money raised through the tribute fund will stay local.
Morabito and Carmen were married for 41 years. They met in night school at the former High School of Commerce in an English class. Morabito immigrated from Italy, while Carmen moved from Ecuador.
Carmen was first diagnosed with breast cancer 30 years before she passed away. The cancer moved into her spine and bones; and during her battle she underwent radiation, chemotherapy and surgery.
“She was always living with cancer,” said Busa. “She was an amazing woman, a true example of strength and courage.”
The family’s goal is to raise as much as possible, in order to give back to the hospitals that helped them during rough times.
“Over those years we had so much support from the hospitals,” said Busa.
People are invited to watch the shaving event, which will take place at 11 a.m. in the shop, located at 2 Beaverbrook Rd.
“People are welcome to stop by,” said Morabito, adding those who donate have the opportunity to cut off a chunk of his beard. His partner, Peter Busa, will be doing the final shave.
To donate, visit ottawacancer.ca/carmenmorabito.aspx or visit the Kanata Barbershop, 2 Beaverbrook Rd.