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Going bald for a cause

Woodwinds Health Campus acupuncturist Ian Johnson, left, and emergency room medical director Dr. David Hale on March 17 after getting their heads shaved for the St. Baldrick's fundraising event.

It was just a little off the top for Woodwinds Health Campus acupuncturist Ian Johnson and emergency room medical director Dr. David Hale on March 17. Both men volunteered to have their heads shaved that day to help raise money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation.

"We're gonna raise what we can and have fun doing it," Johnson said. "Every dollar we get is a dollar going to them and we're happy with anything."

The St. Baldrick's Foundation, based out of North Dakota, is the world's largest volunteer-driven fundraising event for childhood cancer research. Thousands of volunteers shave their heads in solidarity of children with cancer, while requesting donations of support from friends and family.

Since its creation in 1999, St. Baldrick's events have taken place in 18 countries, 48 states, raised more than $50 million -- and shaved more than 72,000 heads.

"I can't think of a much better cause," Johnson said. "And shaving our heads is a pretty insignificant thing to do in order to raise awareness."

St. Baldrick's first came into existence when a group of friends were out for St. Patrick's Day and decided to shave their heads since they wanted to find a way to give back to society, while getting others involved.

Ironically, St. Baldrick is not a real person but a combination of "bald" and "St. Patrick." St. Baldrick's even has a friendly leprechaun named "Lucky" as its mascot.

I think everybody knows someone who has had cancer," Hale said. "It's a good cause, and it's just hair."

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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