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Firefighters in HdG Raise Money, Lose Hair for St. Baldrick's Foundation

An event sponsored by firefighters in Havre de Grace raised more than $50,000 for children's cancer research.

Jermaine Winder of the BWI team getting his head shaved outside Bateman's. (Screenshot from YouTube video)
Jermaine Winder of the BWI team getting his head shaved outside Bateman's. (Screenshot from YouTube video)
Dozens of firefighters from across the state came together in Havre de Grace to shave their heads at Bill Bateman's Bistro over the weekend.

It was the first annual Susquehanna Hose Company fundraiser for St. Baldrick's Foundation, an organization dedicated to children's cancer research. The St. Baldrick's Foundation hosts signature head-shaving events where volunteers collect pledges, then shave their heads in solidarity with children fighting cancer. 

The event on Saturday, held outside Bateman's, raised more than $60,000 for the cause, according to The Aegis.

Billy Berg, a firefighter with the Susquehanna Hose Company who organized the fundraiser, said he got the idea from a colleague.

"After attending a St. Baldrick's event last year [at Looney's Pub] in Bel Air, I was talking with Chief Scott Hurst about how great the event was and how fun it was to see the 'shavees' on stage getting their heads shaved for a great cause," Berg told Patch.

The chief said he and the fire company "would be in 100 percent," according to Berg, so he took the lead and started coordinating.

In addition to volunteering with the Susquehanna Hose Company, Berg is a full-time career firefighter at the BWI Fire & Rescue Department.

"After we decided we were going to do our own event here in Havre de Grace, the guys/girls I work with at BWI formed a team," Berg said.

Level, APG and Joppa-Magnolia fire companies and some police officers also signed up, according to Berg.

Approximately 60 people had their heads shaved by Color Images Salon and Day Spa on Saturday, The Aegis reported.

See one "shavee" losing his rainbow-colored hair at the event on YouTube.

In addition to shaving people's heads, Berg said Color Images had a donation drive at the Route 40 salon, selling t-shirts and St. Baldrick's "Lucky Charms"—cards that people put their names on for a donation in the salon.

"We've all been affected one way or another from cancer, whether it be a family member, friends or member of our community," Berg said. "After learning more about St. Baldrick's last year, we felt that helping the children out and raising money for childhood cancer research would be a great way to bring awareness to the community."

This year, the Susquehanna Hose Company's "Duck Drop" featured a green duck to highlight its support of St. Baldrick's Foundation.

Three friends challenged each other to the first head-shaving event/fundraiser at a bar in New York on March 17, 2000, according to the organization's history. The name "St. Baldrick's" came about as a combination between "St. Patrick's" (when the first event happened) and "bald," since they shaved their heads to raise money.

At the March 15 affair in Havre de Grace, the Susquehanna Hose Company raised more than $17,000; BWI Fire & Rescue Department raised more than $15,000; and Level Volunteer Fire Company raised more than $4,000, according to the Bill Bateman's St. Baldrick's event page, where people can still donate to the cause.

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