Cazenovia Soon, there will be a lot of bald people walking around Cazenovia.
In just under one month, scores of people will gather in the Cazenovia American Legion to get their heads shaved to help raise money and awareness for childhood cancer research — and they will do it on honor of Nathaniel Henry, a 6-year-old student at Burton Street Elementary School who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in March 2012 and is currently undergoing treatment.
“We’re very proud that the community is stepping up and surrounding themselves with the little guy,” said James Henry, Nathaniel’s father. “It means a lot to him because he’s shaving his head for little kids too because he doesn’t want to see another kid go through what he did.”
The March 16 fundraiser will be done through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a national volunteer-driven charity that allows anyone to host or create a head-shaving event to raise money for the organization. Participants collect pledges from family and friends and agree to have their heads shaved as a visible, outward sign of the fight against all types of cancer. The money goes to St. Baldrick’s, but typically gets allocated to medical facilities local to an event.
There have been St. Baldrick’s events sponsored in towns and villages across Central New York, in Cicero, Liverpool, Marcellus and Skaneateles. One of the biggest regional St. Baldrick’s events of the year occurs every March at Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub and Restaurant in downtown Syracuse.
There has never, however, been an event in Cazenovia; and local residents Sean and Erin Kate Kelly, who have participated in other area St. Baldrick’s events, decided it was time to bring the baldness to Caz.
“After last year [at Borio’s Restaurant in Liverpool], we were talking and Sean said, ‘We need to do one in Caz — something that is a really positive event for the community,’” Erin said.