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St. Baldrick's head shaving fundraiser planned in Bel Air Saturday

Gentlemen, prepare to get shorn!

St. Badrick's Foundation head shaving events are planned this Saturday in Bel Air and next Saturday in Havre de Grace.

The Bel Air event is Saturday, March 8, at Looney's Pub, 312 S. Main St. in Bel Air, from 1 to 5 p.m.

St. Baldrick's Foundation works to raise money for research of childhood cancers; people can raise money for the foundation in their communities by getting their heads shaved – and getting people to contribute money – to show solidarity with children who have lost their hair from cancer treatments.

"The organization itself raises more money for childhood cancers research than any other organization, other than the federal government," Dylan Baumgardner, lead organizer of last year's and this year's Bel Air head-shaving events, explained in a recent interview.

Baumgardner said last year's event, also held in March at Looney's, raised nearly $42,000.

This year's fundraising goal is $50,000, according to the event's web page.

Baumgardner said a portion of the bar space at Looney's was used for last year's event, and the space will be expanded this year to accommodate a larger crowd. More space also has been dedicated for family and children's activities.

Looney's will donate 20 percent of revenue raised from food and drink sales during the event to St. Baldrick's.

Baumgardner is a member of the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company. He and several others put together an event in College Park in 2012 in honor of their friend and fellow fire company member Andrew "Drew" Eilbacher.

Mr. Eilbacher was 24 when he died from cancer in 2011.

"We want to make this a community event," Baumgardner said. "This isn't just for the fire company."

He said he wants the Bel Air event to keep growing and get "a little bit better" each year.

Mr. Eilbacher, Adam S., 9, of Joppa, and Dominic Osorio of Bel Air will be honored. Adam is "in maintenance" from cancer, Dominic died in 2009 at age 7, according to the event page.

Visit the Bel Air event web page, http://www.stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/9163/2014 or call Baumgardner, 410-937-5201, for more information.

First in Havre de Grace

After witnessing the success of a head-saving fundraiser in Bel Air in 2013, members of the Susquehanna Hose Company of Havre de Grace have put together a head-shaving event of their own to raise money for researching childhood cancers through the St. Baldrick's Foundation.

The Susquehanna Hose head-shaving fundraiser will take place from noon to 5 p.m. March 15 at Bill Bateman's Bistro, 2021 Pulaski Highway, in Havre de Grace. The fire company, Bill Bateman's and Color Images Salon & Day Space of Havre de Grace are the main sponsors.

"Last year they had their event and several of us from Havre de Grace went to the event just to support them," Billy Berg, lead organizer of the Havre de Grace event, explained about the effect of the Bel Air fundraiser.

Berg said he spoke to Susquehanna Hose Chief Scotty Hurst about holding a similar St. Baldrick's fundraiser in Havre de Grace, and Hurst supported it and asked him to organize the event.

Color Images staff will make up the majority of those cutting participants' hair. Berg said Havre de Grace Mayor Wayne Dougherty will kick off the event by shaving the head of Charles Packard, president of the Susquehanna Hose Company.

Two children who have dealt with cancer will also be honored at the event; they are Jackson J., 4, of Abingdon, and Nathaniel N., also 4, of Edgewood.

The last names of children honored at St. Baldrick's events are typically not released.

Berg said the majority of those who have volunteered to get their heads shaved are members of the Susquehanna Hose Company; members of the Level Volunteer Fire Company, as well as the fire department at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, where Berg is a paid firefighter.

Local law enforcement officers have also volunteered, and a teenage girl has volunteered to have 8 inches of her hair cut and donated to the Wigs for Kids organization, which provides wigs to children who have lost their hair to cancer.

Berg said organizers initially planned to raise $5,000 but they have pushed their goal to $22,500.

"We've been moving it up, as we get closer, to try to get everybody to work a little harder to get this goal beyond what we thought was possible," he said in a recent interview.

Visit http://www.stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/10900/2014 or call Berg, 443-309-6979, for more information.

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