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Cazenovia turns out for St. Baldrick’s, raises more than $40K to fight childhood cancer

Stylist Lindsay Waltz shows teen Amara Kattrein a piece of hair she just cut in preparation for shaving all 23 inches of Kattrein's hair at the March 16 St. Baldrick's fundraiser in Cazenovia. Amara and her brother Hans, left, held hands as they got shaved.

Stylist Lindsay Waltz shows teen Amara Kattrein a piece of hair she just cut in preparation for shaving all 23 inches of Kattrein's hair at the March 16 St. Baldrick's fundraiser in Cazenovia. Amara and her brother Hans, left, held hands as they got shaved. Photo by Jason Emerson.

— After Cazenovia High School senior Amara Kattrein shaved all 23 inches of her hair off last Sunday, March 16, during the St. Baldrick’s fundraising event in Cazenovia, James Henry, father of 6-year-old Nathaniel Henry, a Burton Street Elementary School student who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in March 2012, walked up to Amara, said, “I just want to thank you so much,” and gave her a hug. And Amara teared up.

Cazenovian Roger Brooks showed up Sunday with a bushy beard and mustache as well as a full head of hair — all of which he got shaved off with a big smile on his face — and only after this was done did the event announcer reveal that Brooks was celebrating his one-year anniversary of being cancer free. “I feel great,” he said. “That’s why I let everything grow — I wanted to make an impression.”

These are just two of the myriad touching moments that occurred last Sunday, March 16, at the Cazenovia American Legion for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraising event, during which hundreds of people showed up, more than 100 got their heads shaved and more than $40,000 was raised to help increase childhood cancer research and awareness.

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.

The Cazenovia event, which was announced and posted on the St. Baldrick’s website in January, started with a fundraising goal of $5,000 and had about 50 participants signed up by mid-February. But then word started to spread, and the participation and donations grew quickly.

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