St. Baldrick's Foundation
NEWTON, NEW JERSEY (njherald.com) - It was a sea of green outfits, bald heads and even shaved eyebrows inside the Sussex Fire Department on Loomis Avenue early Saturday afternoon as attendees came out for the annual St. Baldrick's Day head-shaving event.
The volunteer-run event, which has been held at the Sussex Fire Department the past four years after it became too large for Hamburg Fire Department to handle, collects money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a non-profit that raises funds to help find a cure for children with cancer.
According to Kayla Stoll, a volunteer firefighter with the Sussex Fire Department who organized this year's event, "shavees" can donate as much money as they want and stop by and get their heads shaved.
Licensed barbers from Cutz and Beyond Barber Shop, in Hamburg; The Village Mane, in Lafayette; and Trim-N-Style Hair Salon, in Hamburg, were among those who donated their time to shave heads.
As of early afternoon, hours before the event's end, 76 people had signed up to shave their head and 55 people had simply walked in and taken a seat in the barber's chair.
Stoll said that at least 10 women had already been through to get their heads shaved and that members of various fire departments, including Franklin, Hamburg, Branchville, Beemerville and Sussex, were all in attendance.
Many women also received haircuts and donated their ponytails to a cause of their own choosing, Stoll said.
Hamburg Fire Chief Jamie McCurry, with hair dyed green, said he has shaved his head the past seven years because it is all for a good cause. His son, Troy, 10, whose hair was reaching his eyebrows and past his ears, has shaved his head the past six years.
Both took to their respective barber's seat at the same time, and within minutes, sported identical close shaves.
When asked how he felt after, Troy gave a thumbs up, ran his hands through his hair, and said, "It's awesome!"
The fire department also had a surprise visit from members of the Ottawa Fire Department from Ontario, Canada, who came down to support the cause.
According to Stoll, the Sussex Fire Department had sold a fire truck to the Canadian department and have kept in touch with them ever since.
A member of the Ottawa Fire Department even shaved off his eyebrows and mustache after the crowd mustered up more than $100, and a large beard went for nearly $350.
Also in attendance was county Freeholder Deputy Director Jonathan Rose, who didn't have his annual shave just yet -- he has shaved his head for the cause three times prior -- but planned to go under the electric razor late Saturday night during the Sussex Fire Department's annual St. Patrick's Day dinner.
Rose, who said he attends the event each year to support the children undergoing cancer treatment and to support the Sussex Fire Department, said Freeholder Director Carl Lazarro would be holding the razor.
"Hey, it helps me save a bit on my barber bill," Rose quipped.
The day also included a raffle, a knighting ceremony that honored 57 repeat "shavees" for three years or more, and entertainment by DJ Ryan from Hi Energy Entertainment.
Although a shaved head is a way to honor a child going through cancer treatment, donations were collected during the day as well as online. As of Saturday evening, nearly $24,000 had been raised.
All monies, Stoll said, go to the St. Baldrick's Foundation.
The department raised around $35,000 last year and was setting a goal this year of collecting $45,000 for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, Stoll said. Those who missed the event can donate online for the next two weeks at www.stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/10878/2017.
St. Baldrick's head-shaving events began as a challenge between businessmen and have grown from one event in 2000 to more than 1,200 events in 2016, according to the St. Baldrick's Foundation website.
According to the site, nearly $19 million has been raised in 2017 worldwide thus far with 25,656 male and 5,115 female shavers.
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Updated 9 days ago Article ID# 4089271
St. Baldrick's Foundation