NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – For the eleventh year in a row the North Plainfield Fire Department’s parking bays will be transformed to a giant barber shop as people shave their heads to raise money to help conquer cancer. The event, which contributes to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, will be held on Saturday, March 21, 2014 at 1 p.m. and will go on until the last of more than 125 men, women and children have given up their hair in solidarity with children who undergo chemotherapy.
Captain Rob Beattie, who has coordinated the event for the past 10 years, says that this year they’ve already raised $75,000 and expect to bring in as much as $25,000 more on shaving day.
“It started over a decade ago as a friendly challenge in our lounge,” said Beattie, affectionately called Cap B by the other fire fighters. “We read about St. Baldrick’s in Firehouse Magazine, and one of us said they’d do it if others did, and we all agreed. It’s snowballed since then.”
The North Plainfield fire fighters have raised over $600,000 to conquer childhood cancer over the years, and hope to pass a million dollars in the next few years.
St. Baldrick’s uses the funds from this and other events to make grants for research that is reviewed ahead of time to ensure it is promising and has the potential to make a difference. Recently they also added funding for programs geared towards the lifelong challenges survivors face including loss of limbs, blindness and developmental delays.
This year will feature the first Skype shave, with Franklin resident and long-time participant Bill Quarless giving up his hair over the Internet from Hong Kong where he is on a business trip. He’s already raised $12,000 and is the largest fundraiser for the event.
Donations can still be made on the North Plainfield Fire Department event page, or you can bring a donation to the event at 8 Lincoln Place, North Plainfield NJ.