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Heads to be shaved this month to benefit St. Baldrick's, childhood cancer research

Heads to be shaved this month to benefit St. Baldrick's, childhood cancer research
A child gets his head shaved in front of the crowd gathered for the 2018 St. Baldrick's event, a childhood cancer fundraiser, at Looney's Pub in Bel Air. (Brian Krista / Aegis file)

As many as 50 people are expected to have their heads shaved Saturday in Harford County to raise money for children’s cancer research.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraiser, starting at noon Saturday at Looney’s in Bel Air is one of two such events this month. A second head-shaving event is planned in Havre de Grace on March 30 at Bill Bateman’s Bistro from noon to 6 p.m.

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The St. Baldrick's Foundation is a national nonprofit that seeks to raise funds and help find cures for children with cancer. Volunteers raise money by offering to shave their heads, in solidarity with cancer patients who typically lose their hair during treatment.

Saturday’s fundraiser at Looney’s will be the seventh at the Bel Air bar and restaurant, the eighth overall for organizer Dylan Baumgardner and friends.

They started the event at Looney’s in College Park, where many of them attended school, in honor of their friend Drew Eilbacher, who was diagnosed with brain cancer at 22 years old while attending Penn State University, Baumgardner said.

The friends wanted to do something in his memory, he said. The next year they moved it back to Harford County, where more friends and family could attend.

Since they started, $250,000 has been raised for St. Baldrick’s, Baumgardner said, and the event has grown to honor more people than just their friend.

This year’s goal is to raise $50,000. As of Thursday, about $21,300 had been raised.

“Obviously we want to raise as much money as we can. It’s a really friendly event with a good atmosphere,” Baumgardner, a career firefighter, said. “Drew was a hard worker, he never complained. He loved life and a good party. We wanted to make it a party in honor of him, one he’d have fun at. We thought what better way to honor Drew than to raise money to fight kids’ cancer.”

Eilbacher’s parents attend every year and his father typically gives the opening speech. Throughout the afternoon, more than 50 people will have their heads shaved — and some will have beards shaved — by a license barber.

Live auctions, raffles, prizes, face-painting for kids will be available as well as visits from the IronBirds’ and Orioles’ mascots.

After the head-shaving is over at 5 p.m., two bands will play throughout the evening.

Looney’s will donate 20 percent of its proceeds to St. Baldrick’s.

St. Baldrick's Havre de Grace is scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. March 30 at Bill Bateman’s Bistro, 2021 Pulaski Highway. As of Thursday, more than $24,000 had been raised toward the $25,000 goal.

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