Charity Barbers - a documentary by Karin Wells

Anna (left) and Ivetta, in Vancouver. Photo: Ken Kajiwara

Anna (left) and Ivetta, in Vancouver. Photo: Ken Kajiwara

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Ivetta Markova is a barber. She runs a two-chair, basement shop in downtown Vancouver, Marine Hairstyling for Men.

When she turned 40, she decided to raise some money for charity. She put a call in to an organization close to her heart and waited. No-one called her back. Ivetta Markova shrugged her Slovakian shoulders, decided they couldn't understand her accent and moved on.
Seven years later..... the story of the unanswered phone call got out. Within days, the Man In Charge of the charity in question made a visit to the barber shop. He fell to his knees between the cash register and the hair dryers, and begged for forgiveness. He had missed out on a $17,000 donation. 

The money comes from the "guys" - the men who come in to have their hair cut. 
The shop itself is humble. It has golf trophies on the shelf, a very big bottle of Scotch under the counter and photographs of Ivetta and her fellow barber, Anna, on the wall - smiling and glamorous, presenting their cheques to the various charities.
There's one photograph without Ivetta, from the year she was diagnosed with cancer. 

But she was back for the next one. 

Over the last 6 years, these two women have raised close to $200,000.
This is fundraising done with charm, a little ribald humor, decidedly salty language and the knowledge that there but for the grace of God ...

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