To baldly go ...
A bar was on the cutting edge last night for a fundraising event for a children’s cancer charity.
The Docksider Pub and Restaurant on Front Street in Hamilton welcomed families and teams of friends to shave their heads for the annual fundraiser for the St Baldrick’s charity.
Max Kempe, 10, said he and his eight-year-old brother, Rob, had been doing the event for three years.
Rob said: “I liked getting my hair cut. I want to do it again — it tickled.”
The Warwick Academy pupils explained that they had grown their hair since last September in preparation for the event.
Max said: “My head is going to be cold, but I like that I get to give my hair to other people.”
Their mother, Catherine, said: “As a nurse’s case manager for an insurance company, I always encouraged them to do it.
“When we see cases of childhood cancer and I see those referrals, it’s heartbreaking.”
Ms Kempe joined her sons for the first time and had her head shaved.
She said: “It was fine. One of the barbers is my hairdresser so I trust her — though I won’t see her again for a while.”
Cheyra Bell, the new head of St Baldrick’s, said that about 50 people had their heads shaved at the event, backed by donations from 100 sponsors.
Ms Bell added: “What I’m most impressed with is the fact that we have several young people who are participating this year and have made the choice to do so on their own because it was something that they really wanted to do.
“They understand what they’re doing and, for me, that’s the highlight of this year’s event.”
Ms Bell said that the charity had taken in more than $82,000 from sponsored head shaves this year — more than half the $150,000 target.
She added: “That number will continue to rise since we still have funds to input into our system.”
Ms Bell said: “For many of these participants to be so young and understand what it feels like to be selfless — not for the benefit of yourself but for another individual, some of whom you don’t even know — speaks to the authenticity of the children themselves and their character.”
Reed Young, the owner of Docksider, said that the event, held at the bar for about five years, always created a good atmosphere.
He added that he had shaved his head for the charity in the past, so the fundraiser was a blend of his personal and professional lives.
Mr Young said: “Whether it be for personal reasons or business related, anything that helps children with cancer is fighting for a great cause.”
More than 60 Saltus Grammar School pupils and their parents earlier shaved their heads at the school and raised about $100,000 for the charity.
The school has taken part in the fundraiser for 13 years and has raised a total of $1.7 million.
Deryn Lavell, the head of the school, said: “I want to thank all those brave people — both parents and students — who help to raise so much money for such a good cause. Their efforts are simply magnificent.”
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