RUMFORD — Three Rumford women got a nontraditional Mother's Day "gift" when they had their heads shaved to help children being treated for deadly illnesses.
Stefanie Wilson, her sister, M. Mike Wilson, and their pastor, Izzie Radford-Nash, looked like Army recruits Thursday.
"It was for charity and it went really well," Stefanie Wilson said.
Last May, Stefanie Wilson was elected Maine state madam president of the Fraternal Order of Eagles for a year. Her aerie is the Westbrook Auxiliary No. 2977.
Each new president gets to choose a charity, so Wilson chose Camp Sunshine in Casco, which supports children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
Auxiliary members asked Wilson if she would have her head shaved if the five Eagles auxiliaries raised $10,000 for Camp Sunshine. Wilson said the auxiliary usually only raises $6,000 for the president's charity, so she accepted the dare.
Her sister and Radford-Nash, pastor of the Mexico Congregational Church, took on the dare, too, so Stefanie Wilson wouldn't have to do it alone, they said.
On May 10 at the Westbrook auxiliary, officials were reading off the amounts raised for the Eagles' 14 or so charities. For Camp Sunshine, they said $5,433 was raised.
The Rumford Eagles Auxiliary contributed to that with their annual All Male Beauty Pageant, which was won by Tom Surette, whose charity is Camp Sunshine, Wilson said.
Stefanie Wilson said that when she heard the amount, she yelled, "Yes!" and clenched her fists and yanked her arms backward in celebration of winning the dare.
"Then, all of a sudden, my daughter, Jenna (Monaghan Rocque), who is the president of the Westbrook auxiliary, stood up and said, 'Oh, no, did everyone just see what my mom did?'"
That prompted Nancy Kimball, the auxiliary's secretary, to immediately apply for a grant from the Fraternal Order of Eagles. She got $6,000, bumping the money raised for Camp Sunshine to $11,433. Since then, it has surpassed $12,000, with donations continuing to arrive.
"So, I had the whole weekend to think about not having any hair," Stefanie Wilson said. "So I just let my hair go wild. I didn't put it up. I told myself that I'm losing it, so I'm going to have some fun with it."
On Mother's Day, Wilson, her sister and Radford-Nash arrived at the Westbrook auxiliary for the extreme haircuts and a surprise: Wilson's daughter had notified WMTW (ABC 8) of the event.
"I was pretty calm until I saw Channel 8 there," Stefanie Wilson said. "When they showed up, it was like, 'Oh, God, it's really happening.' Kids like to make sure that moms get embarrassed."
To determine who would cut their hair, the auxiliary had members put $10 for the charity and their names into a bowl and three winners were picked.
Barbara Libby, the past state auxiliary president and a Westbrook auxiliary member, cut Stefanie's hair. Jill Doiron, the Eagles New England Regional president, cut M. Mike Wilson's hair, and Carol Ann Small of the Eagles Skowhegan Auxiliary No. 1457 cut Radford-Nash's hair.
Then they had professional hair stylists Ashley Dyer (Stefanie's daughter) and Lindsay Monaghan (Stefanie's niece) shave them bald.
Afterward, Stefanie Wilson said she didn't think the Sinead O'Connor look was all that bad.
"Hey, for $12,000 for Camp Sunshine, it was worth it," she said. "It will grow back."