August 27, 2014

Medina
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Heads to be shaved for cancer charity on St. Patrick’s Day

MEDINA — For the second year, the Medina County Career Center will support young cancer patients.

The school, 1101 W. Liberty St., will sponsor its second annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation Fundraiser on Monday. Cosmetology students will shave people’s heads for donations that will go toward childhood cancer research.

The volunteer-driven charity’s head-shaving event began as a challenge among businessmen and has grown from one event in 2000 to more than 1,300 in 2012.

Events take place in pubs, restaurants, schools, churches, parks, malls, military bases and firehouses in all 50 states.

“They shave their heads in solidarity; that’s the word we use,” said Becky Hambley, Career Center cosmetology instructor and event coordinator. “The way we look at it, when a little child loses their hair from cancer, they have no say in how long it will be gone.”

Hambley began participating in the St. Baldrick’s event eight years ago after her daughter Miranda’s friend, Cassidy Jackson, died of cancer at the age of 12.

Cassidy’s parents shaved their heads for St. Baldrick’s in her honor and they told Hambley about the charity.

Since then, Hambley’s been participating in the annual event at AJ Rocco’s Cafe and Bar in Cleveland on St. Patrick’s Day.

This year, the school also will hold its fundraiser on St. Patrick’s Day.

“You can do a St. Baldrick’s event any time of year, but the closer to St. Patrick’s Day you can do it the better,” she said. “It just seems like people get into it more.”

Hambley said the drive began about six weeks ago, even though she’s been making monthly announcements since the school year began, and students have been preparing to raise money and grow their locks out.

Even though the cosmetology department handles the marketing and organization for the event, the whole school participates in the fundraiser, seeking donations from family and friends.

Students, teachers and community residents can get their heads shaved for a $50 minimum donation. Students and staff operate alone or in teams to raise money.

Hambley said some students single-handedly have raised more than $600 while some teams are over $1,500.

Principal Steve Chrisman will become a second-year “shavee,” Hambley said.

Hambley said the Career Center last year raised more than $7,800. This year, she said, online donations already total more than $4,000. Students and staff will turn in their cash and checks Monday.

All money goes to the foundation.

On top of that, anyone whose hair is longer than 10 inches will have it donated to “Locks of Love,” a charity that provides wigs to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any disease.

Hambley said at least four to five students have hair long enough to donate.

The event runs 2 to 6 p.m. and will include an Irish bake sale, face-painting, green manicures and other festivities tied to the holiday.

Hambley said 43 people are registered online for a shave and walk-ins will be accepted.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.