LAFD Clipped For a Cause

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Fundraiser > St. Baldrick’s event raises money for research

By Tris DeRoma

Things got a little hairy at Los Alamos Firehouse No. 3 Saturday as many of Los Alamos’ finest lost their locks to a good cause. Many showed up to the firehouse to get their heads shaved, thanks to some quick thinking by firefighter Micah Brittelle.
It all started when Brittelle heard that some of his colleagues with the Santa Fe Fire Department were going to a St. Baldrick’s “shave-a-thon” in Rio Rancho to help raise money for cancer research.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation raises money to research cures for childhood cancer through many events. Their trademark event, though, is where people in a company or an organization can come together and raise money for the foundation by getting their heads shaved.
“They created a team and were going to go to Rio Rancho, but when I hear of events going on like that, I like to bring it back here to our community,” Brittelle said. “Instead of having our fire department solicit donations in Rio Rancho we can do an event here in Los Alamos and have public support from our community,” he said.
And support they did get. The event raised at least $4,925, with more sure to come in.
T-shirts for those who volunteered and raised more than $50 as well as buttons and pins that said, “Ask me why I’m bald,” were available at the event.
Among those stepping up to the barber’s chair were LAFD Chief Troy Hughes and Deputy Chief Justin Grider.
Though he said the shave left him feeling a little lighter, Grider said he couldn’t be happier.
“It feels really great,” he said. “It’s a nationwide effort that involves firefighters, police and military who all donate their time, money and hair to raise money.”
Mark Pardo of Salon Spa, located in Albuquerque, helped out at the event, lending two of his stylists, Paul Cox and Francesca LaRosa, to do the honors.
Probably the biggest sacrifice at the event had to have been made by firefighter Adrian Carabajal, who had more to lose than most. However, he didn’t mind, he said.
“It’s for a good cause,” he said. “I’m lucky enough to even have hair to cut off.”
Grider said they plan to make the event an annual one, and invited their counterparts across town to take part.
“Maybe we can get some free-spirited competition, drop the gauntlet for the police department and see if they can step up to the plate next year.”
LAPD Police Chief Wayne Torpy said that would be fine.
“If they would like us to participate with them in it next year, then we would be happy to do it,” he said.