Police officer surrenders hair to support Brave the Shave honoree

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Brave the Shave honoree Mia Thinnes shaves the head of Bismarck (ND) School Resource Officer Mark Otterness during the Guns n’ Hoses event March 8 at The Pond in Bismarck. Mike Eggl, Basin Electric senior vice president of Communications & Administration, (left) comments on Thinnes’ progress, suggesting she should be a professional stylist.

School Resource Officer Mark Otterness holds a special place in his heart for Mia Thinnes. He’s one of many supporters standing with her and other Brave the Shave honorees in the fight against childhood cancer.

Otterness only recently met the Brave the Shave honoree, but the two quickly became buddies. The dynamic of their friendship was shown when Thinnes shaved Otterness’ head during the 2016 Guns n’ Hoses event, which took place March 8 at The Pond in Bismarck, ND.

Thinness giggled and the crowd cheered her on as clumps of the officer’s hair dropped to the floor. Watch the video.

Read more about Mia’s journey through Brave the Shave:
Feb. 2015: Honoree Mia Thinnes’ aunt will Brave the Shave
Mar. 2013: Honoree and friends featured on KX News
Feb. 2011: Honoree Mia Thinnes (Video)

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Chuckles and cheers echoed throughout the room as clumps of hair fell from Otterness’ head.

Otterness sees shaving his head as a simple gesture that benefits an important cause.

“I took Mia’s cancer fight to heart,” Otterness says. “I hate to see kids suffer. It’s more than I can handle, even as an adult.”

The Guns n’ Hoses event marked the fourth year Otterness has shaved his head for Basin Electric’s Brave the Shave campaign, the region’s largest childhood cancer fundraiser on a mission to help kids with cancer.

“I love Brave the Shave. It brings the awareness of childhood cancer right to people’s faces,” Otterness says.

Otterness goes the extra mile with all the school kids he works with. He recognizes kids are the future, and cares they realize he’s on their side.

“My office is always open to the kids I work with, in case they need anything or someone to talk to,” he says.

Brave the Shave has brought hope to many local families fighting childhood cancer. In Otterness’ case this year, it also brought joy to the young honoree shaving his head.

“I’ll do this event nonstop every year. I just have a riot every time I do it,” he says. “It’s only hair.”

Watch for another Guns n’ Hoses post next week!

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Otterness has braved the shave four years in a row, saying it brings awareness of childhood cancer to people who don’t normally see its effects.

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