Guelph 80s dad hopes mullet can help sick kids

The patriarch of the Guelph, Ont., family that made headlines across the world after concluding a year-long experiment living as though it was 1986, is nonetheless keeping his flowing mullet in the name of charity.
Blair McMillan and his family received several VHS tapes from people interested in their project. (Jane van Koeverden/CBC)

The patriarch of the Guelph, Ont., family that made headlines across the world after concluding a year-long experiment living as though it was 1986, is nonetheless keeping his flowing mullet in the name of charity.

Blair McMillan, 27, his partner Morgan Patey, 28, and their two sons, Trey, five, and Denton, three, made international headlines this year when they ditched computers and cell phones, in favour of living like it was 1986 for a full year. 

They even dressed the part, with mullets for dad and the two boys, an 80s-inspired hairstyle for Morgan, and vintage clothing for all.

McMillan said when the low-tech experiment ended in April, one of the first questions everyone asked was, "What's going to happen with the mullet?"

"So we just decided, why don't we do a fundraiser for keeping our hair?" said McMillan.

McMillan will keep his mullet for another year if he's able to raise $12,000 by July 18 for Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. McMillan says his now three-year old son Denton had meningitis when he was just 10 days old and spent a week at the hospital.

The McMillan Family in Guelph, from left to right: dad Blair, Trey, 5, Denton, 3, and mom Morgan Patey. (Courtesy of the McMillan family)

"I never had to experience anything like that and obviously when you have a child that little and so new to the world...they're defenceless. So obviously, it was an extremely hard period of our time," McMillan said.

The family has set up a page on the Sick Kids Foundation website to accept donations. The McMillans planned to end the fundraiser this week after a month, but are well short of their goal, with only $600 in online donations and another $1,200 from a fundraising event. They've decided to keep it open for a few more weeks and have even added a new incentive.

"If we hit $9,000 by July 16, I said that I would run to the Sick Kids Hospital from Guelph," said McMillan. "I'm not that good of a runner...[it could take] maybe eight hours a day for two days."

With a hot summer ahead, McMillan said he's not looking forward to managing the "party in the back."

"Obviously I'd still love to meet our goal and I'd be happy to keep it," said McMillan. "If I lose it, I plan on donating the hair to charity and I guess I'll be a little cooler in the summer. Cooler temperature but maybe not as cool-looking."

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