March 27, 2014
Nearly 100 people went bald in Charlottesville on Thursday to help raise money for childhood cancer research.
The St. Baldrick's Foundation head-shaving event was held at The Biltmore.
Participants collected money from family and friends before going under the clippers to buzz their heads in solidarity with kids affected by the disease.
"The main purpose of shaving heads is a symbolic representation of what happens when a child or anyone goes through cancer treatment. Their hair falls out through chemotherapy, and for children, that a pretty traumatic thing to go through," said event organizer Jake Matheson.
The Caramanis family knows it firsthand.
Pete Caramanis was this year's top individual "shavee," bringing in nearly $7,000 in donations. Just this week, his 12-year-old son, Brandon, wrapped up more than three years of chemotherapy.
"This is a great opportunity to be able to give back. Shaving my head, raising money for cancer research. I'm very proud to be doing it. I'm very excited," he said. "This will be new for me, but all I have to do is think about the kids and what they've gone through and why I'm doing it and it takes all fear away."
Mother-daughter duo Brenda Mahone and Diana Aylesworth both got buzzed.
"Several years ago when my granddaughter was about three, we had a real scare because they thought she had leukemia. Turns out she was just anemic. We were lucky. So I thought I should do it for all the people who aren't so lucky," said Mahone.
"We are so proud and honored to be part of this fabulous, fabulous organization," said Aylesworth.
"Shavee" Hannah Sater had more than one personal connection to Thursday's event.
In a matter of minutes, all 22 inches of her hair was gone.
"My dad died of cancer when I was little. My uncle had cancer a few years ago, my best friend's aunt had cancer, my grandmother had cancer when she was in her 30s," she said. "You can't get away from it, and getting a drastic haircut was an easy way to raise over $4,000."
Organizers have an overall fundraising goal of $50,000.
To donate to the cause, click HERE.