The Shillelagh Club is going bald for St. Baldrick’s this weekend when it hosts its annual fundraiser to combat children’s cancer.
People will line up on Saturday to get their hair buzzed to raise funds for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to finding cures for childhood cancers.
Kevin Kinney, of West Caldwell and who is organizing the event, said about 70 people have already signed up to get their heads shaved by volunteer barbers, such as those from JT’s Barbershop in Verona.
The event continues to draw people year after year from not only West Orange, but the Caldwells, Verona, Montclair and various other communities. The fundraiser will also feature live bands, step dancers, food, and drinks.
“Every year we try to include some more groups and try to stretch out a little more, so it gets a bigger and more widespread,” said Kinney, president of the Shillelagh Club. “We are trying to draw people from all over the place.”
The St. Baldrick's fundraiser will start at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Shillelagh Club, 648 Prospect Ave., West Orange.
And similar to previous years, those who have more than 10 inches of hair will be able to donate it to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that uses donated hair for hairpieces for disadvantages children suffering from medical hair loss.
The idea for the fundraiser began in 2007 when Kinney first joined the Shillelagh Club. He had raised money for St. Baldrick’s fundraisers in the past, and suggested the club take up the idea.
“It was a great fit for the organization,” said Kinney, who also will sit in the barber’s seat this Saturday.
The event has gained steam ever since, and continues to draw more people and donations every year. In addition, this year the Shillelagh Club is teaming up with the Orange Fire Department to host the event.
The club has already raised about $37,500 this year, with the ultimate goal of $100,000. Donations will continue to come in, Kinney said, especially the day of the event which will bring the club closer to that goal.
“The way that the money is coming in and the number of people involved, I feel pretty good that we are going to get close,” said Kinney.
Since the club began the fundraiser in 2007, it has raised more than $400,000, all of which goes to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
Even with the downturn in the economy, Kinney said the fundraiser continues to generate similar numbers every year as it grows.
“It is unbelievable how people -- even the ones down on their luck and having a rough time -- reach into their hearts and make it happen somehow,” said Kinney.
Click here to donate or sign up for the St. Baldrick's fundraiser.