The seventh annual Havre de Grace head-shaving event to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation will happen in Aberdeen this spring, since Bill Bateman’s Bistro, the venue that hosted the event for the past six years, closed in early January.
The 2020 fundraiser, which has been put on every year by the Susquehanna Hose Company — Havre de Grace’s volunteer fire company — will be at The Greene Turtle bar and grill in Aberdeen on Saturday, April 18.
The restaurant is at 1113 Beards Hill Road, behind the Holiday Inn Express and a short distance from the Route 22/I-95 interchange. Organizers plan to hold the head-shaving outside in the parking lot, with access to the establishment’s patio, weather permitting; it will be moved inside if there is inclement weather, though.
Meredith Wagner, marketing manager for The Greene Turtle in Aberdeen, said she and her colleagues are “really excited” about hosting the St. Baldrick’s event and that Greene Turtle operators work to support causes in their communities.
“Being a part of the community, it’s just something really big for The Greene Turtle, and this is an amazing event to support,” Wagner said Wednesday.
Communities throughout the U.S. host head-shaving events each year to raise money for the California-based St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which provides funding for research on childhood cancer, as well as money to support patients, families, hospitals and training programs for researchers.
The annual St. Baldrick’s event in Bel Air, held at Looney’s Pub, is scheduled for Saturday, March 7; visit the event page for more information.
People who want to support the Havre de Grace St. Baldrick’s event in April can visit the web page for that gathering to register or donate. Organizers have raised slightly more than $500,000 for St. Baldrick’s through the Havre de Grace event over the past six years, according to coordinator Billy Berg, a member of the fire company.
Berg said he and his fellow organizers had a short window of time to find a new location after learning that Bateman’s would be closing. They needed a venue with enough staff to handle food and drink service in the restaurant while the head-shaving happens, as well as a business that has the proper permits for such an event. Finally, organizers needed an establishment where the head-shaving could happen either indoors or outdoors.
“We do have the ability to move inside if we need to,” Berg said.
Berg said Wagner and her Greene Turtle colleagues have “been super with us” as they collaborate to put on the event, and he praised Wagner for her efforts with marketing and advertising.
“She’s been doing a fantastic job with that so far,” Berg said.
The event is scheduled to begin at noon on April 18 and continue until all volunteers have had their desired hair shaving or cut — there will be four chairs on stage, and shavees will rotate in and out about every 10 to 15 minutes, according to Wagner.
There also will be activities for children, and The Greene Turtle will donate to St. Baldrick’s 10 percent of its sales from noon to 6 p.m. the day of the event. That includes sales of food and beverages, as well as merchandise and gift cards, Wagner said.
The sponsors and supporters of the event, such as stylists volunteering their time to do the shaving, have not changed, according to Berg. He noted some former Bateman’s staffers, who have “grown to love” the St. Baldrick’s event, want to remain involved “any way they can."
“Really, the only thing that’s changing is the venue,” he said.
Berg said it is “still up in the air,” whether future local St. Baldrick’s events will happen in a location closer to the City of Havre de Grace.
“I think, after this event, we’ll sit back [and] make a decision as a group if we’re going to continue there [at The Greene Turtle], or if we would move back toward Havre de Grace,” he said.