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Posted: 02/27/13

St. Baldrick's fundraiser
scheduled for March 16

Observer Staff Writer
This year's goal is $300,000 for
childhood cancer research
      It takes a village to raise a child, and a community to cure childhood cancer.
       The Village of Romeo is asking for help and some heads during the 2013 St. Baldrick's Foundation fundraiser to raise awareness and money for childhood cancer research.
       This year's head-shaving event has been scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 16 at the Lions Club Field, located at 269 E. Washington Street.
       Thanks to last year's fundraiser, $295,000 was raised and 542 heads shaved<150 belonging to kids<to show solidarity with children that lose their hair during cancer treatments.
       Based on this success, event coordinators are shooting for a goal of $300,000 and 500 to 600 shavees to participate.
       Michael Fiscus, event organizer, said last year's fundraiser was the 10th largest St. Baldrick's event in the world, and third highest for the number of shavees.
       "It stuns me every year," he said. "It makes Romeo a bright light on the whole cause."
       The fundraiser works by having volunteers collect funds to have their heads shaved. On the day of the event, volunteers sit in a barber's chair and have their heads completely shaved.
       The fundraiser has a head start on reaching its goal, raising $34,000, or 11 percent of the total, as of Feb. 22.
       "The top two people for the first few months were new people," Fiscus said. "We get new people every year, but we still get that core of people who return."
       The fundraising event has dealt with the good problem of having so many participants, which sometimes causes over-crowding.
       Fiscus said this year's event will remedy this by providing more floor space, overflow areas and better opportunities for family and friends to see their loved ones shorn.
       "We're making sure we stay really focused that day, so that everything revolves around the shavees," Fiscus said. "Those guys are the heroes, and we want to make that moment all about them."
       In addition to more space, the event has a roster of 33 barbers, 23 shaving stations and an earlier start time to squeeze in as many shavees as possible.
       In fact, the event has grown so big that a spin-off event was created in Marysville. Fiscus said he is glad to see more events popping up and hopes other cities will host their own events to compete with Romeo.
       "The overall end goal is to raise as much money and awareness for childhood cancer research," he said.
       Volunteer coordinators have worked since the beginning of the year to put together a family-friendly event. The 2013 event includes raffles, food, kids activities, music, a parade and even a bagpipe tribute.
       "An event this big should be a lot of work, but with so many people volunteering we've been fine-tuning it," Fiscus said.
       A sneak peek of the event will happen from 6-9 p.m. on March 1 at Santino's in Washington Township, where a number of local and county dignitaries will have their heads shaved for the cause.
       For more information or to register for the March 16 event, visit
       The St. Baldrick's Foundation is the second largest contributor to childhood cancer research, with the first being the U.S. government.
       According to the foundation, around 160,000 children worldwide are diagnosed with cancer annually, and is the leading cause of death by disease for U.S. children.

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Retrieved 7/31/2015 at 1:25:38 PM.
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