People brave the shave, raise money for childhood cancer research

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WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - More than 30 volunteers went bald to help raise awareness and money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation and childhood cancer research.

A volunteer hugs another after braving the shave. (Source: KNOE)

Evelyn Maguire says braving the shave is worth it. "It's hot out. Not having hair is nice," Maguire says. She says her fresh cut comes at a good time and for a good cause.

The Roe City Roller says she started participating in the tradition for one of her teammates too. "One of my teammates asked me to do it with her last year,” Maguire says. "She is a survivor of Leukemia. So, she wanted to shave her head to help other kids who have been through it, and she didn't want to do it alone."

Event organizer Justin McLeod says he understands the nerves that can come with saying goodbye to your hair. "The big thing is when people sign up to shave their heads, it catches people's eye," McLeod says.

Even though it's the biggest part of the day, he says it's not the only way people can help the cause. "You can fundraise. We take donations here at the event and what happens is all that money goes towards our event goal and it gets pulled together and goes to the national organization who then gives grants to doctors and researchers who are just doing the most promising research in the field."

The volunteers donate their time, money and maybe a few heads of hair along the way, but they have fun while doing it. "A big ole shindig is how I like to describe it," McLeod says.

Sarah Williams can get down with the shindig. "I was going to go ahead and do it. I grew out my hair all year to do it, to just shave it all off," Williams says.

Although she's losing her locks, Williams says what she gets from today is so much more. "Hair is just hair. I mean it grows back. My hair is going to grow back, and it's going to be okay,” Williams says.

“These kids don't get to experience that. That's such a normal thing for us, and just to be able to help in like a little tiny way and have it be significant makes me feel better."

Since 2014, northeast Louisiana has raised more than $80,000 for childhood cancer research.