DISTANT – A local elected official, the area’s police chief and several prominent business people will be among a group of volunteers who are auctioning off a chance to shave their heads for a good cause.
The Cuts for the Cure event is being organized by local third-grader Hayden Smith, along with his grandmother Mary Benton.
It will be held this Sunday, May 20, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Oakland Church of God in Distant.
Smith and Benton said that half of the money raised through bids, sponsors and a Chinese auction, will benefit local cancer patient Jan McGarrity, while the other half will go toward the New Bethlehem S&T Bank branch’s Relay for Life Team.
Benton said her grandson has a soft spot for those battling cancer, and wanted to do something to help. She said he has been a part of the bank’s Relay for Life efforts for the past four to five years.
At first, she said, they were considering holding a yard sale to raise money. Then they talked with several people who shaved their heads in support of a friend who had cancer.
“We figured we could do it as a fundraiser,” Benton said.
The 9-year-old boy and his grandma then worked to recruit volunteers willing to have their heads shaved.
“We drove around for a whole day, just asking people,” Smith said.
Among those who agreed to take part are Southern Clarion County Regional Police Chief Scott Ryan, New Bethlehem Borough Councilman and local business owner Gordon Barrows, New Bethlehem dentist Tom Kaminisky, and Shirey Overhead Doors owner Guy Magagnotti.
Others to be auctioned off include Lee Miller, David Kirk, Jim Benton, Sarge Hinderliter, Snuffy Magagnotti, Mark Rupp, Jason Procious, Lew Stewart Jr., Bob Crawford, Levi Wolfgang, Winston Brocious, Clay Colwell and Matt Smith.
And even Hayden Smith will offer up his head to be shaved too.
Bidding starts at $10 per volunteer, and will go up in $5 increments.
“If you’re the highest bidder, you can shave the volunteer’s head any way you want to,” Benton said, explaining that five shaving stations will be set up at the church. The winning bidders can make their own patterns, or use one of several stencils available for the day, including a lighting bolt, a cancer ribbon and a hashtag.
Once all the heads have been shaved, the volunteers will parade past the judges. Local cancer survivors or those still battling the disease are welcome to come to help serve as judges.
In the end, Debz Twisted Scizzors and Byers Barbershop will help touch up the recently shaved heads for the volunteers.
Benton said in addition to the money raised from the auction, they also received sponsorships for each volunteer from area businesses and individuals.
There will also be a Chinese auction at the event.
“I don’t want people to think we’re taking cancer lightly,” Benton said, noting that they want the event to be fun and memorable.
People are welcome to come bid, Benton said, but folks can also just come watch and have a good time.
“Everyone thinks it’s a great idea,” she said, adding that it’s not your typical fundraiser. “We’re going to have a good time.”
For more information, contact Benton at (814) 365-5989.