Volunteers prepping to prove bald is beautiful

WINDER -- As of Monday, 56 folks had signed up to shave their heads for charity in Winder on March 17. That count includes eight women.

Public safety personnel in Barrow County are prepping for a sudden scourge of baldness Saturday to observe St. Baldrick's, the world's largest volunteer-driven fund-raising program for childhood cancer research. Participants collect donations to shave their heads.

So-called "shavees" raised more than $10,000 in last year's head-shearing spectacular, a first for Barrow County. They included firefighters, police officers, 911 dispatchers and other community members. The fundraising goal this year is $20,000.

One female participant this year is doing "double duty" charity work, in that she's donating her fallen mane to Locks of Love, said organizer Lt. Rob Nowakowski.

"It shows the dedication to this cause in Barrow County when we have eight women that are willing to shave their heads," said Nowakowski.

The 2012 event is scheduled for March 17 at Dakota's Grill and Bar, 1304 Atlanta Highway in Auburn. Expect live music and head-shaving galore in a family friendly atmosphere, Nowakowski said.

Since 2000, more than 189,000 volunteers (including 17,000 women) have shaven their heads to show solidarity for children stricken with cancer. Events have been held in every U.S. state and dozens of other countries, officials said.

Each year the event is dedicated to a local child who has been diagnosed with a childhood cancer. In Barrow, the honoree is Brooks House.

At age 6, House was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, and he's been undergoing treatments for the last year.

"He's an incredible child who has faced a big challenge already in his life," said Lt. Nowakowski. "It's our honor to dedicate this year's event to him."

For more information, visit www.stbaldricks.org/event/dakotasauburn or contact event coordinator Rob Nowakowski at 770-652-8245 or his wife, Karen, at kpnfire@aol.com.