In Loganville, some of the firefighters might be looking a little shaggy above the ears right now. But not for long.
On March 16, six firemen from Loganville Fire Department and one from Walton County Fire Rescue will head to Jefferson to participate in the annual St. Baldrick's Foundation fundraiser. They will take with them money raised from pledges, and in exchange they will each have their heads shaved bald.
This is the first year that local firefighters have participated in the event, which involves departments from around the state, said Lt. Kyle MacKenzie of Loganville Fire Services.
St. Baldricks began collecting funds for childhood cancer research in 2000, and is now the largest volunteer based fundraiser in the world. According to St. Baldricks's website, the charity has collected over $120 million for cancer research in children. Already this year, over $2 million has been collected from volunteers who collect pledges in exchange for getting their hair shaved off. Volunteers come from all walks of life, but it makes sense that firefighters would want to help, said MacKenzie.
"We have careers in the fire service because we love helping people," he said. "The St. Baldrick's fundraiser is for the same reason. No matter how long firefighters have been in the business, they will always love helping people. Especially the next generation, the children."
Cancer is also a leading cause of firefighter deaths. Many partcipants are involved in honor of loved ones lost to cancer.
He also said he hopes for the local departments to participate every year, perhaps even host an event here in Loganville. Donations can be made at any of the three City of Loganville Fire Stations.
The firefighters from Loganville Fire are: Battlion Chief Carl Morrow, Lt Kyle Mackenzie, Firefighters Scott Carson, Stephen Wilson, Jacob Morrow, Rex Wamer and WCFR Driver/Engineer Kevin Vermillion.
To help the Loganville team reach its goal, go to www.stbaldricks. org/teams/mypage/74079/2012. You can donate for the firefighters individually or as a team.