The Richmond Register

March 16, 2014

‘Shavees’ raise more than $5K to fight childhood cancer

By Crystal Wylie
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — The back patio of the Paddy Wagon Irish Pub was a sea of green apparel, accessories and drinks along with various colors of hair clippings — lots of hair clippings.

While it also was a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the pub Saturday, 12 “shavees” and their donors raised more than $15,000 (and counting) for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding research to find cures for childhood cancers.

“Shavees” ask friends and family to make donations “on their head,” and in return, each attends a volunteer-organized event to have his or her head shaved in solidarity with kids fighting cancer.

Shavee David Gadd, of Richmond, has gone bald for the charity for the past seven years and has raised more than $14,000.

For the last three years, he has shaved his head in honor of an 8-year-old Elizabethtown boy named Samuel Adams, who has been battling leukemia since age 3.

This year’s shave also is a bittersweet one for Gadd, who lost his best friend Charlie Stamper on Valentine’s Day. Stamper had supported him at several St. Baldrick’s events, he said.

The first time he got his head shaved was “liberating for me — and cold,” he said. He had always had hair in the past, but realized that he doesn’t have to worry about “helmet hair” when riding his motorcycle with his wife Teri.

Although he didn’t plan to get his head shaved Saturday, Ron Rhea’s friends quickly raised $65 and guided him toward the stylist’s chair.

The last time he was bald was when he entered the military nearly 30 years ago, Rhea said.

His fiance Ellie Pribble planted a kiss on his head after the shave.

“He’s as cute bald as he is with a full head of hair,” she said.

Also acting on a last-minute decision, Cody Click, of Richmond, raised $100 for St. Baldrick’s and smiled as his hair fell to the floor.

Other “shavees” on Saturday were: Erich Lindemann, Scott McGuffin, Mike Minerich, Daniel Meyer, Scott McGuffin, Nate Daniels, Bill Niederbrach, Mike Smith and Rick Walls.

Fantastic Sam’s stylist Gina Harvey, who has volunteered for five years, said it is always fun to shave a woman’s head. However, this is the first year she can recall that a woman has not gotten her head shaved at St. Baldrick’s.

She said the best part of the event is “seeing people come together and get excited about a good cause.”

This is Fantastic Sam’s seventh St. Baldrick’s event, said co-owner Kim Murphy. Including this year, local shavees have raised nearly $27,000 for St. Baldrick’s, which funds foundations at both the Kentucky Children’s Hospital and Kosair Children’s Hospital.

Donations are collected on shavees year-round at www.stbaldricks.org.

Crystal Wylie can be reached at cwylie@richmondregister.com or 623-1669, Ext. 6696.