Residents Shave Heads to Benefit Childhood Cancer Research

St. Baldrick's Foundation event at Fast Eddie's raises about $25,000.

To support childhood cancer research, Centreville-area residents climbed into the barber’s chair Saturday and had their heads shaved in a money-raising event sponsored by St. Baldrick's Foundation.

, in Trinity Post Plaza off of Lee Highway, was packed with volunteers on St. Patrick’s Day who celebrated by getting their heads shaved. This is the eighth year that the Centreville group has held the fund-raiser, which has become a much-anticipated event in the community.

Kyle Stohmack, 17, a cancer survivor, came with his family to the event. Stohmack, of Centreville, was first diagnosed with cancer about five years ago and had a re-occurrence last year. This year, Stohmack looked robust and said he was eager to graduate with his friends on time this year from . He is deciding between a pair of colleges out West who have accepted him.

“This is a great event and it’s something that you can have fun doing,” said Stohmack, whose older sister shaved his head.

Meg Crossett, a St. Baldrick’s volunteer who lost her daughter to cancer a decade ago, agreed.

“This is great and it’s gets bigger and better each year,” said Crossett.

Crossett, of Virginia Run, was encouraged because other local groups have started their own head-shaving fund-raisers. “That’s really the point, to raise money for research,” she said.

Steven Ratliff, of Centreville, a co-organizer, said the group has raised about $230,000 for the foundation in the past. St. Baldrick's Foundation has raised more than $90 million for childhood cancer research in the last decade.

“We’ve always had a great response from the community and we want to spread the word about cancer research,” Ratliff said. “There is no better way to spread the word than with a bald head.”

Anthony Gregoria, the lead singer for Portico, an Arlington band, agreed. The band played at the event on Saturday.

“We love to play at these events,” said Gregoria, said Gregoria, who is a new dad with a four-month-old child at home. “We need to do a good job at taking care of each other and we especially need to take care of the kids."

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