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Vol. 112 - Issue 1, Wednesday, September 15, 2010
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RSCS Reunion - August 20-22 2010

Losing hair for a worthy cause
by Janine Giordano

While some people may lose their heads when feeling passionate about a subject or cause, local resident Brandon Dawley won’t be going that far despite his dedication to the fight against childhood cancer.

Instead of losing his head, Dawley will be losing his hair as a shavee fundraiser in this year’s St. Baldrick’s Foundation effort against cancer.

Local RS resident Brandon Dawley will be sporting a new ‘do as of March 29, when he will lose his locks in a fundraising effort for St. Baldrick’s Foundation. ( (Photo by Janine Giordano)

“I’m shaving my head in solidarity for the children going through chemotherapy. Shaving my head is a great way to show my support for kids undergoing this treatment while raising funds for life-saving research,” Dawley explained recently.

So far he has surpassed his initial goal of $1,000 with a whopping $1,127 raised. He has now upped the ante to $2,500. If he reaches this before March 29, Dawley said he will increase the goal again.

It did not take long for him to reach the first goal. “I sent out a number of emails from my address book and within a month I exceeded my goal,” he said. He is now hoping people will donate after hearing by word of mouth about the event.

Years ago, Dawley said, “I participated in a Diabetes benefit. I was 16. Most of my efforts similar to this have been to donate graphic design or artwork to non-profit fundraisers. But I never was able to directly connect with the people affected. I just handed over the work I did to the organization committees  and that was it.”

He learned about the St. Baldrick’s event from a friend, Chris Christensen, who is a  co-organizer for Team Ethan for the Ithaca chapter of St. Baldrick’s. He told me about it and I thought it sounded like a fun way to generate money for a worthy cause.”

His sister-in-law, Emily Dawley, who lives in Mississippi and has long hair, will also be shaving her head, he said. “Anyone can go on the website and do this. They don’t have to go to an event. They can just have a picture of their head with a before and after shot,” he said.

His support comes in more ways than just funds and fellow shaving. His friend Kathryn Immonen, from, who is a writer for Marvel Comics, recently knitted him a cap to keep his head warm after the deed is done.

Anyone can participate in the effort, and shaving or buzz cutting, as Dawley is doing, is not a requirement.

This is a worldwide fundraising organization, reaching out to countries from South Africa to New Zealand.

According to information on their website, “St. Baldrick’s donors and volunteers made possible over $15 million in funding for childhood cancer research in 2008. This includes 47 grants, as well as funding for 30 young doctors who will be tomorrow’s top researchers.”

In addition to shavees, St. Baldrick’s is also looking for barbers, event organizers, volunteers and donors. Take a visit to their site at and get an idea of how to become involved. If you would like to donate specifically to Dawley’s site, he urges you to visit his blog at where there is a link directly to his donation page. Anyone who donates will receive an originally illustrated postcard created by Dawley. The gifts will be sent out after the event.

Prior to the event, which is being held at Kilpatrick’s Publick House in Ithaca, on March 29, he hopes to dye his hair green. In addition to losing his hair, Dawley will also be removing his beard, an effort he will not be compensated for with donations, but is definitely supported by his wife, Breelynd. “She’s definitely for it, especially since the beard is going,” he said.

As far as sporting a new look, Dawley said this doesn’t faze him. “The look doesn’t bother me. My hair grows fast. I’d shave my head every month for these kids if I could.”


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