By Janee Law
The stage of the William J. Brosnan School in the Northport-East Northport School District became a hair salon Friday evening as students, faculty and others took a seat in one of seven chairs and had their head shaved in support of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
The district has participated in the annual shave since 2002 in an effort to raise funds for the foundation, which funds scientific research and clinical trials to find cures for pediatric cancers. The idea behind St. Baldrick’s originated in Northport.
Justin Caulfield, a fourth grader of the Ocean Avenue, couldn’t help but make some expressive faces as his red hair drifted to the stage floor during his shave.
The experience, he said, felt a bit “weird,” especially in the back of his head, but it was worth it.
Part of the Ocean Avenue Shavesters, 10-year-old Caulfield, of Northport, said this was his third time participating in the event. He added that, along with joining his friends, he wanted to take part because the event “raises awareness for cancer and helps get money for cancer to treat cancer.”
This year, the Ocean Avenue Shavesters — one of several teams to participate in the event — raised awareness for Devin Suau, a 6-year-old Boston boy who is battling cancer. Suau’s story spread across the nation through the “#WhyNotDevin” campaign. While the Shavesters took the stage to have their heads shaved, they held up a “#WhyNotDevin” sign.
With 17 online donations, the Ocean Avenue Shavesters raised $10,030 during the event, as of deadline Monday.
Christine Apollo, of East Northport, and one of the organizers of the event, said having this event is particularly important to her because her daughter, Nicole, has been in remission since 2009.
“The biggest reason why we do it is because only 4 percent of the U.S. federal funding for cancer research goes to pediatric cancers or childhood cancers,” she said. “We want to see more funding go towards pediatric cancer so more kids don’t have to go through what my daughter went through.”
The Northport-East Northport School District, as a whole, raised $71,961.82, with 201 online donations, as of deadline.