Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Boonie's Story - The Fantastic response to Mr. Lethbridge's Challenge to ALS

Ralph Lethbridge is not your typical 71 year old  Entrepreneur, Husband, Dad and Grandfather.  

He's what we call in Newfoundland & Labrador - a "Character".   He is Boonie.

Boonie Lethbridge is one of those characters that you will find throughout small town Canada.   Boonie (as he is affectionately known) has been the go-to person to buy real, local Christmas trees in the Clarenville area since 1984.   EVERYONE knows him and kids in particular love him because he bears a striking resemblance to Santa!! That's not the only resemblance - his heart is as big as Santa's too!   His trade-mark white beard is the reason, and very few people remember seeing him without it. 

Over the past few years several prominent citizens of Clarenville have died from ALS, including Corwin Mills, Dolores Balsom & Pat Cole . This fall after the death of Mr. Mill's, Dolores' husband Alex and Boonie were chatting.  Boonie suggested he'd like to help the cause and together they contacted Pat's husband Cal who is now the face of ALS awareness and fundraising in Clarenville.  Boonie pitched the idea of shaving off his beard as a fund raiser for ALS.  The goal - to raise $5000

So on January 24, in front of over 1300 at the Clarenville Caribous hockey game, Boonie 'showed his face' by shaving his beard.  What was exceptional was the buzz - the spirit and the buy-in into this nobel cause. 

As of this writing over $60,000 has been raised.....

Video of the event

This story captured the attention of the media....

Media Story
Toronto Star-3 hours ago
When he decided to shave his beard after 40 years without picking up a razor, Clarenville “legend” Ralph “Boonie” Lethbridge only wanted to ...

A MUST listen....Awesome story by an awesome storyteller....
"Now she's going up, I say $60,000," Boonie tells @cbcasithappens "Over a damn bit of hair!"

Well it's the day after the big $51,000 shave and Boonie's beard is well on its way to growing back. This morning I had the opportunity to talk to and share video with CTV Morning Live's Cyril Lunney about the big shave! Watch it here... - ‎Jan 25, 2016‎
Ralph "Boonie" Lethbridge doesn't like his face without his 40-year-old beard, but said he'd shave it all off again in a heartbeat if it would help raise money. The now-infamous Clarenville man shaved his legendary beard in front of a cheering crowd ...

The Telegram-Jan 24, 2016
The Clarenville Ford Caribous inched ahead of the Gander Flyers ... regular season and will also see local legend Boonie Lethbridge shave his - ‎Jan 24, 2016‎
Ralph "Boonie" Lethbridge is a staple of the Clarenville area, best known for selling Christmas trees. He's been growing his facial hair since he was around 16, but decided this year to hack it off after his close friend, Larry Boyd, was diagnosed with ...

VOCM - ‎Jan 25, 2016‎
Clarenville man has raised more than $50,000 for ALS research by doing something he hasn't done for more than 40 years. Ralph Lethbridge, who is know by most as Boonie, said he would shave his beard at a senior hockey game if people donated ... 25, 2016
Un homme de Clarenville, à Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador qui arborait fièrement sa barbe ... Ralph « Boonie » Lethbridge vend des sapins de Noël.

Western Star - ‎Jan 24, 2016‎
Boonie was joined at centre ice of the EEC by his wife, Jenny, and their two granddaughters for the barbershop session. What had begun as a fundraising goal of $5,000 had gained momentum on social media and around Clarenville during January.

Friday morning in my biweekly chat with CTV Morning Live's Cyril Lunney, I introduced Cyril and the audience to Clarenville's Boonie (Ralph) Lethbridge, his trademark beard and his quest to raise research funds and raise interest in ALS. Here's our conversation... 8, 2016
He's been growing a beard for 39 years, but now Ralph "Boonie" ... A very Boonie Christmas: Getting a tree from Clarenville seller a local ...

The Telegram-Jan 7, 2016

Clarenville Packet-Jan 6, 2016
Boonie Lethbridge is well known in the Clarenville area and on Jan. 24, he will shave his trademark beard off for ALS. 25, 2015
If you live in the Clarenville area and you celebrate Christmas, chances are you've picked up a tree from Ralph "Boonie" Lethbridge.

Here's a sample of the generosity and support of our business community and organizations in the Town who contributed to this cause

Clarenville Area Co-op donation of over $8200 to the Boonie Project for ALS.

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