Vernon resident Olivia Cochrane

Vernon resident Olivia Cochrane

Stylist shares the love for charity

Vernon hair stylist hosts pre-Valentine's Day fundraiser for Because I Am A Girl

A pre-Valentine’s Day event right here in Vernon is shaping up to Share the Love internationally, with flair.

Local resident Olivia Cochrane has orchestrated a community fundraiser Monday at Monashee’s Bar and Grill to support Because I Am A Girl programs domestically and internationally.

Because I Am A Girl initiatives, run through Plan Canada, support girls who are disenfranchised due to poverty, gender and other constraints.

Therefore the Share the Love event aims to raise funds to help young girls see and reach their potential.

“There are people out there who want it to change,” said 20-year-old Cochrane, who is currently a hair and makeup stylist and formerly a 2008 Queen Silver Star candidate. “I’m one of those people.”

In doing so, the event will showcase some home-grown successes.

The evening, which includes a $10 cover charge, is kicked off at 7 p.m. by local talent Raquel Warchol  and then Paper Boy at 9 p.m. The musical entertainment will be interluded by a dynamic modeling show featuring hair designs from Chatters Salon and clothing by local Aclis artists. The evening will also feature local artists and a galore of raffle prizes.

The event also preludes Cochrane’s own journey to make a difference, as she heads to Southeast Asia Feb. 25 and then India April 1, where she hopes to visit a Because I Am A Girl project.

“I’m young and energetic and I think I’ll bring a lot of education there,” said Cochrane, eager to also work with some orphanages. “I’ll be able to see first-hand what these projects are like.”

While such opportunities as education are often taken for granted, the 2009 Kalamalka Secondary grad feels blessed to have granted the gift of learning in life.

“A lot of girls around the world aren’t able to do that. It’s pretty sad,” said Cochrane.

She is also inspired by influences such as Canadian model Coco Rocha, who has used her runway stardom to attract attention to and lend a hand in Haiti.

“People in fashion are starting to make an impact,” said Cochrane, who is committed to doing her part.

The Share the Love event also marks the 50th birthday of Cochrane’s biggest inspiration – her mother.

At just 19-years-old, her mom was diagnosed with leukemia and told that she would never be able to have kids. But despite the odds, and the radiation, she not only beat the disease, but produced two healthy children.

“I just feel very blessed to be a live and have a mother that had so much courage,” said Cochrane.

For more information or to donate to the raffle or charity, contact Cochrane at 250-260-1163.