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Surrey stylist cut and snip to help youth fight eating disorders

Champers Salon in Fleetwood is cutting hair for a cause on Thursday, March 21 - and it doesn't matter if you have a buzz cut, a pompadour or anything in between.

Fifteen stylists are volunteering their time, offering haircuts for a minimum donation of $20. Proceeds will go to the Looking Glass Foundation, a North Vancouver-based organization that provides counselling and support for young adults ages 17 to 24 with eating disorders.

"The foundation was created by three mothers whose own daughters were very unwell," said Deborah Grimm, president of the Looking Glass Foundation and one of the founders. "We all went through the hospital program and we all had to send our daughters out of country, either by mortgaging our homes or coming up with a plan - it's a very costly experience.

"We came together and said there needs to be better service."

Chrisoula Papadopoulos, a stylist at Champers and a psychology major in her final year at Simon Fraser University, took on the salon's organizational duties after she was approached by a board member from Looking Glass. With a minor in counselling, Papadopoulos is currently studying to enter a similar field of work, with hopes to help others who suffer from such disorders as anorexia and bulimia.

"My passion and my dream for the future is to do work with young kids, therapeutic work with adolescents and youth, including girls who suffer from eating disorders," said Papadopoulos. "From the beginning, this organization really caught my attention."

According to a 2002 survey by the federal government, an estimated 1.5 per cent of Canadian women between the ages of 15 and 24 - more than 30,000 - had an eating disorder.

Papadopoulos said she hopes the fundraiser will bring in $3,000 to $5,000 to help young adults through the foundation's community programs, support groups and the Woodstone Residence, a treatment facility on Galiano Island opened by Looking Glass in April 2010.

The salon will also have live music, refreshments and a handful of raffle prizes, including dinner for two at Boston Pizza and a gift card to Guildford Town Centre.

"The grand prize is a Champers value pack, which is worth about $200 for hair products and spa treatments," said Papadopoulos.

The fundraiser runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 21 at Champers, located at 15920 Fraser Hwy. For more information about the Looking Glass Foundation, see lookingglassbc.com.

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