Organizers of the inaugural Havre de Grace head-shaving fundraiser for the St. Baldrick's Foundation raised at least $60,500 for children's cancer research, an amount that is more than double their goal.
The head-shaving event, which was put together by members of the Susquehanna Hose Company, took place Saturday under a tent in the parking lot in front of Bill Bateman's Bistro.
Stylists with Color Images Salon & Day Spa of Havre de Grace shaved people's heads.
Lead organizer Billy Berg, a member of the volunteer fire company, struggled to find the right words to express his feelings about the community response.
"Amazing," he responded. "That's all I can say, is 'amazing,' that's all I can put [into words] right now; I'm still trying to digest all this."
Speaking about 30 minutes before the head-shaving event ended, Berg said at least $60,500 had been raised. People volunteer to get their heads shaved before the audience, raising money in the community beforehand to support their participation.
The fundraising goal listed on the event page is $25,000, and Berg said slightly less than $49,000 had been raised as of Saturday morning.
"Thank you, everyone," Berg told the audience. "Thank you very much."
About 60 men and women, and even a few children, volunteered to get their heads shaved, according to Berg.
One "shavee" was Stacy MacBurney of Havre de Grace. Her daughter is friends with Berg's daughter, and she learned about the St. Baldrick's event through that connection.
MacBurney raised $1,000 to support getting her long, reddish-brown hair, which hung past her shoulders, cut off.
"Trying to get rid of this, I thought it would be pretty easy to get people to donate, to get rid of it all," she said before she went up on stage.
MacBurney said she also planned to donate locks of her hair to make wigs for children who have lost their hair to cancer treatments.
A stylist braided the majority of MacBurney's hair and snipped it for donation, before shaving off the rest.
"I figured with how long my hair is, might as well donate to two things a once," she said.
"It's feels very weird," MacBurney said later. "It's different."
Her daughters Leigha, 12, and Haley, 11, also wanted to make hair donations. Leigha wanted to have her head shaved, and Haley wanted to get her hair cut for wigs.
"When that little girl's mom was explaining her story, and my mom got her head shaved, I felt like donating mine," Haley said.
The "little girl" Haley mentioned is Serena Whitt.
Serena, 9, of Delta, Pa., has been living with neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer which typically affects infants and children 5 years old and younger.