On Saturday afternoon, March 16, 48 brave and generous souls dared to bare their scalps, lopping off their locks—and in some cases their beards and mustaches, too—all in the name of children’s cancer research.
It was the seventh annual St. Baldrick’s day celebration, and this year, donors and participants raised nearly $7,500 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. And donations are still coming in.
The event was organized by Jennifer Harmon, the owner of Avon Surf Shop, and was brought to fruition by a host of community volunteers.
Nino’s Pizza in Avon donated pizzas for the event, and the Kinnakeet Civic Association provided drinks and plastic dinnerware. In addition, several community members donated baked goods to be sold at the bake sale, which was manned by volunteers from the Cape Hatteras Secondary and Elementary schools.
Five local stylists volunteered to buzz this year’s “shavees”—Denise Gaskins from Hair By the Sea in Avon, Candace Fleming from Shear Therapy at Fox in Buxton, Chloe Sapecki from Spa Koru in Avon, Therese Lorenzo from Sunset Salon in Rodanthe, and Tabitha Rose from Dawn’s Hair Salon in Buxton.
The participants—male and female, young and old—came from all over the island. Some were part of teams that had spent months raising funds, while others came the day of the event, just to show their support and make donations.
One such “shavee” was Miles Brite.
At 3 1/2 years old, he was this year’s youngest participant, and he definitely stole a few hearts as he sat in Denise Gaskins’ chair and allowed her to give him his first-ever buzz cut, giggling nervously from time to time because “it tickled.”
The participant who brought in the most money this year was Dan Oden, who was part of the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative team, which included Richard Augustson, Rich Kenner, and Laura Heitsenrether.
Oden had set a goal of $1,000, collecting online donations through a special page he set up on the St. Baldrick’s Day website.
In the end, he nearly doubled that—bringing in $1,900 in online pledges, with additional donations placed on his behalf at the event.
And Oden brought with him a participant who might have taken home the award for “most dramatic transformation.”
Mike Ollis, a native of Portsmouth, Va., who owns a boat that he keeps at Oden’s Dock in Hatteras village, agreed to participate in the event after Oden told him what it was and how it worked.
Ollis had no donations coming in, but he ended up giving 8 to 10 inches of his hair to Locks of Love, an organization that provides wigs for chemotherapy patients who have lost their hair, and getting another 8 to10 inches shaved off his beard and mustache.
He may have looked like a salty seaman when he walked in, but he looked like Mr. Clean when he walked out.
Ollis was one of four St. Baldrick’s participants who were also able to donate to Locks of Love.
Another such participant was Elaine Hooper. Not only was Hooper able to donate to Locks of Love, she also raised $655 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, making her the fourth-highest earner in this year’s event. She was also the only female “shavee” this year.
One other shavee who was able to donate to both the Locks of Love and St. Baldrick’s Day charities was Mike Fahey, a 68-year-old resident of Frisco.
Fahey smiled cheerfully as his hair was braided into four pigtails.
“He grew it for about 17 months,” said his wife, Vicky Fahey. “And he’s never been bald. He told me, ‘I have to do this at least once in my life.’”
“He’s a piece of work,” Fahey joked, as her husband held up his severed pigtails and smiled for the camera.
And lucky for the beneficiaries of the St. Baldrick’s Day funds, he was in good company.
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