04/28/13 — Clipping to cut cancer

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Clipping to cut cancer

By Matt Caulder and Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 28, 2013 1:50 AM

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Dana Long and Matthew Casey feels each other's bald heads after getting them shaved during the St. Baldrick's Event at The Flying Shamrock in Goldsboro. The St. Baldrick's Foundation raises money to find a cure for childhood cancer. The goal for the Goldsboro event was $20,000.

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Chris Bailey of the Oakland Fire Department gets his head shaved by Brittany Snyder during the St. Baldrick's Event at The Flying Shamrock in Goldsboro. The St. Baldrick's Foundation raises money to find a cure for childhood cancer. The goal for the Goldsboro event was $20,000.

Kids and adults alike gathered to have their heads shaved in the parking lot next to The Flying Shamrock on North John Street to raise money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation to fund childhood cancer research.

The event began with children's head shaving at 4 p.m. and adults at 5 p.m.

Goldsboro Fire Department Capt. Chad Cobb has been organizing the event for the last four years.

"My wife and I shave our heads for it every year," said Cobb. "We usually get usually get about the same amount of money because they pay me to shave my mustache."

There are two all female teams this year, which is an exciting element for the event in generating more money.

The most they have shaved for an event was five women and this year they were hoping to surpass that.

"Shaving your head shows kids that they aren't different than anyone else," said Cobb. "Not everyone has hair."

The first female participant, Dana Long, of Duplin County EMS, had already cut off 10 inches before taking her seat for the head-shaving.

"I came here with hair," she said, holding up the zip-lock baggie that she plans to donate to another organization that makes wigs for children.

She was prompted to participate this year, she said, by one of her partners at work, Matt Casey.

"He did it last year and he's been talking about it, so I decided to join in," she said.

"She actually did well on it," Casey said. "She raised more than me."

Ms. Long said she had collected $260 for the cause, while Casey estimated his efforts brought in between $140 and $160.

"I feel pretty good about it," she said afterward. "Kids don't have a choice when they get sick and lose their hair."

Jean Brieske of Goldsboro bragged a little over her brood, which includes her daughter, Rosalie, and son-in-law, Cobb, as well as two other sons, from Chesapeake, Va. and Wilmington, and another daughter from Chesapeake, all willing to go under the clippers for the cause.

"The reason this is so dear to their hearts is because my granddaughter at age 2 had cancer and she's 21 years old now," Ms. Brieske said.

Chris Bailey was among the first to get shorn, and was watching as his dad, Belmon Bailey, both with Oakland Volunteer Fire Department, took his seat. This was the second year both of them have participated in the fundraiser, he said.

"It feels like it brings the team closer together and it's something we can give back to the community other than just fighting fires," Chris said.

Belmon issued a challenge to the crowd to generate buzz. He said he would have his eyebrows shaved if someone donated $50, which drew an immediate response from a generous audience member.

Cobb said Saturday evening as the adult portion of the event got underway that there were 11 teams signed up, with 71 people and more walk-ins expected.

"We raised like $50,000 in the last four years," he said.

The foundation is a multimillion-dollar nationwide fundraising event born out of a yearly St. Patrick's Day celebration in Manhattan to raise money for the Children's Oncology Group.

It gathers together supporters who donate money to the participants to have them shave their heads.

In 2002 St. Baldrick's reached its first million dollars and in 2012 broke through $100 million raised.