The basics: Cheryl Whisenhunt is a Fresno dentist and a community volunteer.
What she does: Whisenhunt founded “The Bald and the Beautiful,” a team that raises money for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in the Central Valley, which helps those with breast cancer, and is a longtime member of the Fresno chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc., which is made up of mothers with children “dedicated to nurturing future African American leaders by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty.”
Her mother, Patricia Whisenhunt, was a charter member of the Fresno chapter, which celebrated its 35th anniversary this year, and Cheryl Whisenhunt got her two children involved in the organization.
Whisenhunt also encourages co-workers at her dental office to join her in giving clothes, food and toothbrushes to Fresno’s homeless.
Why she does it: “Any little bit counts. … If you are blessed with having a roof over your head and food to eat, you need to help other people,” Whisenhunt said.
The turning point: She started raising money for the Susan G. Komen organization after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. She wants others to know that help is available and that they are not alone. “You have to stay positive.”
Details, details: When Whisenhunt’s cancer treatments made her lose her hair, she never wore a wig. She was proud of her bald head, which became the inspiration for naming her fundraising team The Bald and the Beautiful.
“You can still be beautiful without hair,” Whisenhunt said. “Beauty is something you see that comes from inside a person. It’s like some kind of glow.”
As a Jack and Jill member, she has loved involving her children in community projects over the past 20 years aimed at helping those in need. That giving spirit was passed on to her from her generous parents. “It’s like a domino effect,” she said.
What others say: “She is just very kind, very gentle, very unassuming,” said friend Desiree Rodgers. “She doesn’t put on airs. She’s always willing to roll up her sleeves and help. … She’s a very generous, very giving person.”
How you can help: Those interested in joining The Bald and the Beautiful team can email Whisenhunt at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about the Fresno chapter of Jack and Jill of America is available online at fresnojackandjill.org.