When Telek Rogan decided to run for Rendezvous Queen in the 2017 Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous competition, she did so as a celebration of who she had become. Talking with me about it, Rogan has no problem articulating the changes that have shaped her.
“I’ve done a lot of transitioning in my life. I became a mom, I got a new career, I went back to school and I started making my way as an independent woman,” she says. “I just felt that Rendezvous was the opportunity for me to explore how those transitions and transformations have taken hold and shaped me as a person.”
It’s clear from speaking with her that although she was ultimately crowned the 2017 Queen, this experience was more about empowerment and working together with the other queen candidates than anything else.
“I enjoyed it and had fun, and got to be part of a group of incredible women, it was a lot of fun,” she says.
While being the Rendezvous Queen carries with it a number of interesting social commitments, Rogan sees other opportunities as well.
“In 2015 I cut all of my dyed hair off and committed to not dye it or cut it, or do anything to it until it was long enough to donate.” She explains that she had been interested in creating a fundraiser and donating her hair since high school, but had not had the opportunity.
“Then in 2015 I decided it was time, and in a wonderful twist of fate, the year [my natural hair was long enough to donate] actually wound up being the year I ran for Rendezvous Queen. This meant that I could expand my platform for this fundraiser so much further.”
With the support of the Rendezvous team as well as Beauty Bar Hair and Esthetics Lounge, Rogan has committed to shave her head in the Rendezvous Tent in Shipyards park after the Canada Day Parade on July 1st.
A hairdresser from Beauty Bar will be the one to shave the Queen’s head, ensuring that the hair is handled properly and reaches its destination intact. Rogan has chosen the British Columbia Children’s Hospital’s program Wigs for Kids as the recipient of her hair, and she is raising money to help increase the donation’s impact.
According to their website, “Wigs for Kids B.C. provides funding to cover the cost of custom-made human-hair wigs for children and teens at B.C. Children’s Hospital who have suffered hair loss due to cancer treatment or other serious illnesses. Donations… also help families pay for medications and feeding supplies that are essential for treatment, but not covered by their medical plan.”
This program helps many families to focus on supporting their sick children by removing some of the financial burden associated with serious illness.
Rogan was moved by the mission of Wigs for Kids.
“The program helps children who are battling cancer, children with alopecia, even children who are recovering from severe burns. I just think it’s really, really amazing to be able to contribute to helping these kids in this way, and I hope others in the community will get excited about it, too.”
To donate online to Telek Rogan’s fundraiser and receive your official tax receipt, you can visit her page on the Wigs for Kids BC website, drop some change into one of the Wigs for Kids donation jars at various businesses around Whitehorse, or contact the Sourdough Rendezvous office for more information about how to get involved.