NASCAR Drivers Kasey Kahne and Brad Sweet Help Children's attempt Bubble Blowing World Record to Celebrate Hospital’s School Re-Entry Program.

Minneapolis – Minneapolis-based Great Clips, the world’s largest hair salon brand, will host the “Great Bubble-a-thon: Showering Kids with Bubbles of Hope” event, Monday, June 25, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. at the Minneapolis campus of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. The event celebrates Great Clips’ 20 years of support for Children’s of Minnesota’s School Re-Entry Program which helps kids with cancer or other serious illnesses go back to school with confidence.

To raise awareness about the program, Children’s, along with Great Clips and its NASCAR racing team Kasey Kahne and Brad Sweet, will attempt to set a world record for most kids blowing bubbles. The NASCAR greats will join patients and area children in a spectacular sea of bubbles to attempt the record. Afterwards, the two drivers will give the patients a tour of their race car.  

The School Re-Entry Program is entirely funded by the annual Great Clips’ Cut-A-Thon. The 2012 Cut-A-Thon runs from June 23 – 29. Portions of the proceeds from each haircut at participating Great Clips salons in Minnesota and Wisconsin will be donated to the School Re-Entry Program. This year’s fundraising goal is $85,000.

“Great Clips is proud to support Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota,” says Rhoda Olsen, Great Clips CEO. “In the 20 years of Great Clips’ Cut-A-Thons, our loyal customers have helped us raise $750,000 for the School Re-Entry Program. To commemorate this awesome accomplishment, we are throwing a ‘Bubbles of Hope’ party to honor the courageous kids who’ve endured the transitions in and out of school to receive life-saving medical care.”

Julia’s Story
 
Children’s discovered kids are often scared or unsure of classmates with cancer or other serious illnesses. They avoid their ill classmates because they fear the sick child will die or is contagious. The Children’s School Re-Entry Program addresses these concerns and helps children like Julia Kauth, age seven, who was diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumor at age six and treated at Children's of Minnesota. Wilms’ tumor is a rare cancer found in one or both kidneys in about 400 children in the U.S. each year. (Julia’s family blog)

During Julia’s cancer treatment, she attended school as much as possible. A Child Life Specialist from Children’s came to Julia's school to teach her class and other school staff about Julia's disease and that she wasn’t contagious, why she was losing her hair and how to stick up for Julia on the playground. The Child Life Specialists shared photos and brought medical play kits for Julia’s classmates, so when Julia wears a mask to school or a hat to cover her head, the other kids could join her.

“The School Re-Entry Program is very empowering for Julia,” says Amanda Kauth, Julia’s mother. “The interaction with the Child Life Specialist and her class is just what the doctor ordered. It made her feel comfortable with her situation, and it took a huge weight off our shoulders knowing Julia feels comfortable at school because her classmates would engage her.”

About Children’s of Minnesota’s School Re-Entry Program
The program addresses the issues patients often feel about returning to school. The program also addresses the importance of peer education about both the medical and emotional considerations for a classmate. Patients may choose to participate in the program for many reasons, including if they are newly diagnosed, had a long absence from school, are attending a new school, had a major change in treatment plans or physical appearance, or have a sibling expressing particular concerns.

Child Life Specialists have visited more than 100 schools throughout the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota and Wisconsin.

About Great Clips, Inc.

Great Clips, Inc. was established in 1982 in Minneapolis. Today, Great Clips has more than 3,000 salons throughout the United States and Canada, making it the world’s largest salon brand. Great Clips salons employ nearly 30,000 stylists who receive ongoing training to learn advanced skills and the latest trends. Make Great Clips your choice for value-priced, high-quality haircare for men, women and children. No appointments needed, and salons are open nights and weekends. And, it’s more convenient than ever with Great Clips’ Online Check-In. To check-in online, visit www.greatclips.com or download the app for Android and iPhone. For more information about Great Clips, Inc. or to find a location near you, visit www.greatclips.com.

About Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota:

Serving as Minnesota's children's hospital since 1924, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is one of the largest pediatric health care organizations in the United States, with 347 staffed beds at its two hospitals in St. Paul and Minneapolis. An independent, not-for-profit health care system, Children's of Minnesota provides care through more than 12,000 inpatient visits and more than 200,000 emergency room and other outpatient clinic visits every year. Children's is the only Minnesota hospital system to provide comprehensive care exclusively to children. Please visit www.childrensmn.org.