The click of scissors and the buzz of clippers filled the air in Albemarle County on Saturday afternoon as about 30 people shaved their heads during a fundraiser for children’s cancer research.
Kid to Kid, a children’s merchandise resale shop on U.S. 29, raised more than $11,000 during the event for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The organization holds charity events where volunteers take pledges and have their heads shaved as a gesture of solidarity with children with cancer.
It seemed like the perfect charity for Kid to Kid, said co-owners Tiffany and Joe Reagan.
“The whole concept of the store is kid-focused,” Joe Reagan said. “There’s a huge need for developing cures for kid-specific cancers.”
The Reagans kicked off the event by having both of their heads shaved. It wasn’t the first time for Joe, but Tiffany Reagan had never gone bald before. She said she wasn’t worried about it.
“It’s hair; it’ll grow back,” she said before the haircut. “It’s for a wonderful cause.”
A crowd gathered right outside the shop as hairdresser Jenisha Mickie and Katie Story took volunteers, two-by-two.
Haileigh Senters, 14, was among the youngest volunteers. Her mother, Amber Senters, said Haileigh had been inspired after visiting Savannah Cox, a 7-year-old Unionville girl diagnosed with a stomach cancer, at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
“I took all five of [my children] to that hospital so Savannah could be a kid again,” Senters said.
Beverly Cox, Savannah’s grandmother, showed Haileigh a picture of the girl before she had gone through chemotherapy. She had brown curly hair, just like Haileigh’s.
Haileigh stared down, avoiding the gaze of the onlookers as Story shaved her head. Her mother and a few attendees reassured her as she got up from the chair.
“You look so beautiful,” Amber Senters said before giving Haileigh a hug.
Spencer Kennedy, manager of Vocelli Pizza, also had a personal connection to the cause.
Kennedy said his 5-year-old cousin, Luke Baca, had recently battled with neuroblastoma, a rare form of pediatric cancer originating in nerve tissue.
Kennedy said Luke has essentially gotten over it thanks to chemotherapy and stem cell therapy.
“Stuff like that isn’t possible without the work of St. Baldrick’s,” Kennedy said to the crowd. “I want you all to know how much this means to me.”
Vocelli Pizza was one of several businesses on hand helping out, along with Trader Joe’s, CVille Bead Girl, Bricks 4 Kidz and ACAC Fitness & Wellness Centers. The Seminole Trail Volunteer Fire Department brought one of its trucks to the event.
St. Baldrick’s Foundation is still taking donations for the event. More information on how to contribute locally is available by visiting www.stbaldricks.org/events and searching for “Charlottesville.”