04/10/17 — Shavin' for the Army

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Shavin' for the Army

By Joey Pitchford
Published in News on April 10, 2017 9:57 AM

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Justin Ahrens gets his head shaved during the Chase-ing a Cure Shave-It fundraiser to benefit Riley's Army Saturday at the Flying Shamrock. Riley's Army is an organization that provides support to the families of children with cancer in Eastern North Carolina. The event raised $1,515 and had 11 participants.

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Event organizer Jerimee Hooker gets his head shaved during the Chase-ing a Cure Shave-it Fundraiser to benefit Riley's Army Saturday at the Flying Shamrock.

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Ben Smith closes his eyes as the clippers buzz across the top of his head during the Shave-It fundraiser. Smith also grew out a mustache to shave to raise awareness for childhood cancer.

They came. They saw. They shaved.

A happy group of participants and onlookers gathered at the Flying Shamrock pub Saturday afternoon to watch as volunteers had their heads, mustaches and beards shaved off in support of Riley's Army, an organization dedicated to providing support to the families of children with cancer.

The Shave-It fundraiser, as the event was known, was hosted by Chase-ing a Cure, a local organization created by Jerimee and Amy Hooker. Their son Chase, 4, has leukemia, and Chase-ing a Cure holds fundraising events to donate to cancer-fighting organizations and promote cancer awareness.

Hooker, sporting a carefully-cultivated mustache, spoke about why he decided to hold the event this year.

"We were growing our facial hair our for St. Baldrick's," he said. "When that got canceled, instead of shaving our faces in vain, we decided to hold our own event."

Although the event was somewhat last-minute, Hooker said he hoped to bring in around 20 people to have their hair shaved. Volunteers participating in the event sought sponsors to generate money for the fundraiser.

One volunteer was Justin Ahrens, who was playing pool with his daughter Claire, 10, inside the pub before shaving time came. He said he had participated in St. Baldrick's before, and he was excited to be able to help out another good cause.

Claire, on the other hand, was not excited for her father to lose his head of hair yet again. When asked why that was, she said the same thing happens every year her father shaves his head.

"He always makes me rub [his head] and it feels weird, and if I don't he rubs it on me," she said, smiling and scrunching up her face.

Soon, stylist Ellen Ginn from William and Radford Salon and Tanning arrived, and it was time for the shaving to begin. The volunteers stepped forward, and the hair started flying. One-by-one they fell, mustaches, beards and whole heads of hair proving no match for Mrs. Ginn's hair clipper.

Hooker himself stepped up to the chair early on, grimacing as his mustache and his hair fell to the floor and Mrs. Hooker laughed.

"I feel so naked," he later said with a grin.

By the time the night was over, Chase-ing a Cure had raised $1,515 for Riley's Army. Hooker said he was not sure of the future of the event yet, but that he might like to see it incorporated into St. Baldrick's next year.