A lively crowd of green clad patrons created a real buzz shaving their heads this past Sunday at in support of the bar’s first annual St. Baldrick’s Day event raising more than $1,000 for the childhood cancer charity.
Chris Cote of Farmingdale who dyed his hair green for the event has supported the cause for years with this being his fourth year participating in the event.
“The kids can’t raise money for themselves and funding for research is critical,” said Cote’.
Originating back in 2000, the St. Baldrick’s organization is not named after an Irish saint or any saint for that matter. The word is a combination of Bald and St. Patrick’s. The name and concept of raising money to fund cancer research for childhood cancers began with three friends over a dare in a New York City bar. Since that fateful day at Jim Brady’s Bar and Restaurant, more than $95 million has been raised and those funds have been distributed to over 230 institutions of the Children’s Oncology Group .
Local barber Kevin Mundt volunteered his services for the Past Time’s event. Mundt, who grew up in Kings Park, was adopted as a baby out of Dublin, hence the name of his new barber shop, The Dubliners.
“We’re showing kids with cancer we are going to go through it with them (go without hair),” said Mundt.
Dubliner’s opened last week on Main Street next to Sarin. When asked what sets his shop apart from other Kings Park barbers, Mundt says he always gives a discount to members of the military, firefighters and policemen.
“This is a great foundation – they are really helping kids – anything for kids gets me,” he added.
Twenty-five year old Kings Park resident John Kopek couldn’t agree more. He had Mundt shave his head for the cause Sunday. Born and raised in Kings Park he knew a kid in high school who had leukemia and never forgot that.
Jason Fernandez was also raised in the community and this his second time he has shaved his head for St. Baldrick's. This year his girlfriend Sam actually did the shaving.
According to the St. Baldrick’s website, one hundred and sixty thousand children are diagnosed with cancer worldwide each year and childhood cancer in the U.S. and Canada. This is more than an obscure number for Cote, his reason for shaving his head was personal. His cousin lost her five-year old son Zachery to neuroblastoma.
“He was the sweetest kid in the world – I’m the father of an 8 year old son so it really hit home,” said Cote’.
Kelly Firefly, manager at Past Times, said they put together the event at the last minute. Some customers were donating online as heads were being shaved.
“I’m happy if we raise, $1,000 – next year we’ll be more organized,” said Firefly.
The St. Baldrick’s organization makes it easy to donate online, by phone or by snail mail. The site also provides information on volunteering, beoming a shavee having your head shaved) and how to host a St. Baldrick's event.
Kelly and team Past Times met their goal and raised over $1,000. If you missed the Past Times event and want to donate or participate, The in Kings Park is holding their St. Baldrick’s festivities on Sunday, March 20 at noon. You can also check out some neighboring town's events such as which held their event last week.