PBA members to get shaved for cause

JOHNSTOWN – Johnstown Police Benevolent Association members have in the past gotten hairier for cancer. Now it’s time to get hairless.

The police union and Razor Hair Salon will sponsor a St. Baldrick’s Foundation event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Partner’s Pub, 21 S. William St. The event will raise money for childhood cancer research and involves people getting their hair totally shaved off, or “buzzed,” as PBA member Adam Schwabrow put it Wednesday.

“Every year we try to pick up a different charity,” Schwabrow said. “St. Baldrick’s raises money by people shaving their heads.”

Schwabrow said the thought this year by the Johnstown PBA was to do something around St. Patrick’s Day.

The PBA in November 2011 sponsored a “Movember” activity that involved growing moustaches in order to raise awareness and money for research into prostate cancer.

This year’s St. Baldrick’s event at Partner’s Pub is being promoted by the PBA on Facebook.

“Get involved and you’ll be giving hope to infants, children, teens and young adults fighting childhood cancers,” the Facebook post says. “It’s an easy and fun way to raise money for a very serious cause-like a walkathon, but without the blisters.”

The public can get involved or by making a donation to the event’s website at: www.stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/9317/2013. The public can also make donations at the event.

“Razor Hair Salon is donating the hair stylists,” PBA President Eric Johnson said Wednesday.

Schwabrow said about 40 to 50 people have already signed up to have their heads shaved for cancer on Saturday, including 10 Johnstown police officers.

He said about four or five stylists from Razor Hair Salon on Briggs Street are volunteering for the event, which requires a licensed hairdresser.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, based in Monrovia, Calif., is a nationwide volunteer-driven charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government, according to its website. In 2012, a total of 1,308 St. Baldrick’s events nationwide raised $33 million. In those events, over 56,000 “total shavings” took place.

The website says money raised by St. Baldrick’s volunteers is used to support “only the best” pediatric cancer researchers. They are chosen through a rigorous peer-review process and monitored every step of the way, the site says.

“Many of our researchers have shaved their heads as well, giving a double-dose of support for kids with cancer,” the site says.

St. Baldrick’s began as a head-shaving event in 2000 and continues to be the signature event of the foundation.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at johnstown@leaderherald.com.