Women and men with long hair know how long it takes to grow, and how much it takes to maintain. Getting it cut for many can evoke an extremely emotional reaction. But one Noroton Heights Fire Department member is not only cutting off her long locks, Kendra Fitzpatrick will also shave her head afterward — both for a good cause.
St. Baldrick’s has been one of the most popular charitable events around since the early 2000’s. Started in Manhattan, it began with the goal of shaving 17 heads to raise $17,000 to fight childhood cancer. The night ended with 19 heads and over $100,000 raised. From then on, St. Baldrick’s has been an annual mainstain and major fundraising event that takes place nationwide to battle childhood cancer and raise money for research.
In Darien, the Noroton Heights Fire Department has been part of that tradition for years. It is the fifth consecutive year that the three town departments have collaborated to be part of the event, in what is called the “Town Of Darien Firefighters Shave The Way For Kids With Cancer.” This year, however, is generating a little extra buzz (pun intended.)
Fitzpatrick has been part of the Noroton Heights department for over three years. She also, currently, has hair down to the middle of her back. Fitzpatrick will be taking part in this year’s St Baldrick’s fundraiser, first cutting off her hair for Locks of Love, and then shaving her head.
“I’ve gone to the event for the last three years that I’ve been in the department. This year, I decided to participate,” Fitzpatrick said.
“I was reading about it, watching videos about St Baldrick’s, and it was really inspiring. You see these kids talking and they’re so happy about the event, and I said to myself, I can do this and my hair will grow back to raise money for these kids,” Fitzpatrick said, adding, “I’m fine with giving my hair away to put smiles on some kids faces.”
The event takes place this Saturday March 31, with the head shaving main event happening around 6 p.m. The event runs until 10 p.m. and all Darien residents are invited to come cheer on those getting shaved, make a donation, or even jump in the chair and shave their head as well. There will be food and music, and an after party at Center Street Pub.
The donation link is open at stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/9940/2018. Donations can be made without shaving your head at that link.
“Now that it’s less than a week away, we’re really pumped about it. We were talking about how we will all do it at the same time, my chief is going to shave my head, he already called dibs on that and I can’t really say no to the chief,” Fitzpatrick said.
“My whole family will be there, my mom, my cousins, friends, everyone,” Fitzpatrick said. She added that her family has been nothing but supportive of the event. Even her mother after finding out that Kendra would be a participant this year.
“I told her and she was all for it. She said it’s your decision, it’s a great cause, but be prepared for a cold head,” Fitzpatrick laughed.