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March 14, 2013
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Fundraiser benefits cancer research

For the fourth year, firefighter Curtis Baker will be shaving his head as part of a fundraiser for cancer research.

“We’re pretty passionate about it,” he said. “And I really need a haircut ...”

As a member of the Northern Nevada Firefighters Random Acts of Kindness team, Baker is organizing the local head-shaving fundraiser Sunday at Red’s Old 395, joining in with events around the globe to raise money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which has funded more that $100 million in cancer-research grants.

The firefighters, representing Carson City, East Fork and Douglas County fire departments, participated in Reno’s event for the first two years. Last year, they started their own in Carson City.

“With our connection to our community, we deal with a lot of pediatric cancer patients,” Baker said. “This gives us an opportunity to support a good cause, to support these kids and their families that are affected by it.”

The head-shaving fundraiser began in 2000 during an annual St. Patrick’s Day party at Jim Brady’s pub in Manhattan. It has since grown to a worldwide event.

“It’s an easy and fun way to raise money for a very serious cause — like a walkathon, but without the blisters,” explains the foundation’s website.

Two additional teams joined the Northern Nevada Firefighters Random Acts of Kindness for Carson City’s fundraiser.

Stylists from Dayton’s Salon Tart volunteered to do the shaving, and one of their clients will have her head shaved.

“Cancer touches everybody’s lives, unfortunately,” said Brieanna Wilson, Salon Tart owner. “Children’s cancer is as heartbreaking as it can get. God forbid, if anything ever happened to anybody we loved, we would want the community to support us. We want to be there to support them. Kids are very dear to our hearts.”

Brothers Luke and Nolan Pedersen, ages 9 and 7, formed the aptly named Pedersen Brother team.

Their mother, Michelle Pedersen said they got the idea from their firefighter father, Zac, and from her donation of her own hair in the past to children with medical hair loss.

“They really wanted to be a part of this great opportunity to help children get back to being children — running around on the baseball field rather than laying in a hospital bed,” she said.

The group has a goal of raising $10,000 and is at $2,566.

Donations will be accepted online or at the event. Participants are welcome as well.

“Anybody who would come out and support the cause would be fabulous,” Wilson said.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Mar 14, 2013 09:38PM Published Mar 17, 2013 01:15AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.