Kids are big winners thanks to Tri-State’s TMS facility

Mike Marshall, Tri-State telecom tech, says it takes about three years to grow his hair long enough to donate to Wigs for Kids. He’s been donating to the charity for 20 years.

Mike Marshall, Tri-State telecom tech, says it takes about three years to grow his hair long enough to donate to Wigs for Kids. He’s been donating to the charity for 20 years.

For 20 years, Mike Marshall, telecom tech based at Tri-State’s transmission maintenance south (TMS) facility in Rio Rancho, N.M., has been growing his hair and donating it to “Wigs for Kids” – a nonprofit organization that has been serving children suffering from hair loss since 1981.

This year he decided to take his charitable efforts a step further and also raise cash for the organization by auctioning off the privilege of cutting his hair and beard at work. “I figured there are a lot of my co-workers who would pay good money to see me bald,” Marshall laughed.

That was just the beginning. When Marlène Márquez, transmission reliability support manager, heard what was going on, she raised the stakes by involving TMS superintendent Tommy Chavez – convincing him to agree to head and face shaving if her team raised $500.

“When we organized the support staff at Rio Rancho into our own team, the competition really took off and it became a real frenzy,” said Márquez.

Mike Montano, TMS manager, offered to allow his hair to be removed if the total went above $1500 — a move that created another influx of cash. When that level was reached, TMS superintendents Lance Mullins and Kurt Loenser also agreed to part with their hair.

Losing their hair for a great cause (from left) are: Kurt Loenser, Lance Mullins, Mike Marshall, Mike Montano and Tommy Chavez.

Losing their hair for a great cause (from left) are: Kurt Loenser, Lance Mullins, Mike Marshall, Mike Montano and Tommy Chavez.

Needless to say, the competition between TMS groups paid off significantly for a great cause. “It was kind of exciting, all the groups really got on board and we raised a lot of money for the kids,” Márquez said.

The final amount of money donated by Tri-State to Wigs for Kids was $1,745.50 – almost entirely from a facility of about 50 people.

“This created an opportunity for Tri-State employees to step up and do something very positive for kids in need,” Chavez said. “This speaks very well of the generosity of TMS in general, as well as our friends in the other regions who participated.”

Learn more about the custom-made hair replacements created by Wigs for Kids and the unique requirements for children at wigsforkids.com

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