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Baldrick's Celebration features shamrocks and shaved heads

By Erin O'Connor

Staff Writer

WESTFIELD The Southwick Inn was quite the buzz on March 4 when 30 volunteers showed up to go naked on top in turn for raising funds for fighting childhood cancer.

"It is wonderful," Joan Perkins-Smith, organizer of the event said. "We have 29-30 shavers."

Reminder Publications' own Mike Slater was one of the shorn:

"I am currently bald, it's a little cold, but hopefully it will warm up soon. I just wanted to thank everyone for there generosity and support, I was able to raise $513 for a great cause," he said.

Members of the Westfield Police Department also showed up in large numbers to participate in the event.

The sheared collected donations over the last month or so to raise money that will go towards research to find a cure for childhood cancers.

"I love it, it's fun," Susan Shlosser, on of the barbers, said.

The event was dedicated to the memory of Matt Basile, a young patient who lost his battle with cancer. His parents and brother Nate, who participated in the event, live in Southwick.

Among the shavers was Janice Buckley, who raised $500.

The Baldrick's Foundation began on a dare by three insurance executives. In 1999, Tim Kenny challenged friends, John Bender and Enda McDonnell to find a way to repay their good fortune by giving to others. All of Irish descent, the three turned their industry party into a benefit for kids with cancer. The first year they raised approximately $40,000. To date, the foundation has raised over $12 million.

In honor of the Irish influence the Inn was filled with the musical talent of the Kealey's Irish Music and shamrocks in plenitude.

Donations can still be made by visitng