Wheeling area residents will be shaving their heads for a good cause Saturday - to raise money for childhood cancer research.
The 11th annual St. Baldrick's Foundation head-shaving event is slated to start at 1 p.m. at the Stone Room at Wheeling Park. This year's fundraising goal is $15,000. In addition to the dozens of people who have volunteered to have their heads shaved, there will also be a "Bold, Bald and Beautiful" fashion show to honor the female participants who shaved their heads.
Live entertainment is on tap by the Honkytonk Sweethearts, Taylor Porter, Steve Smith, Jo Ann Jones, Spirit and Grace and the Chrisagis Brothers. Appearances from Miss West Virginia USA Charisse Haislop and Miss Teen West Virginia USA Lexsey Marrara also are planned. There will be food, raffles, prizes and more surprises.
Photo provided/Wellsburg resident Jennifer Mattis gets her head shaved by barber Renee Koskey of Deemston, Pa.
"On a national level, this event is so important because St. Baldricks funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government," said coordinator Dave Parsons. "On a local level, we have in recent years come to know so many kids in our own neighborhoods who have been diagnosed with childhood cancer. The money we raise at the Wheeling St. Baldrick's event could very well save the child next door to you, or your own child. We provide a family friendly event, and a fun and entertaining afternoon, that every single person in the area can be involved with in some way."
Parsons said during the past 10 years, 400 people have shaved their heads to raise nearly $250,000 in the Wheeling area alone. St. Baldrick's is a volunteer-driven charity and the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, according to information from Parsons.