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Monday, March 19 News

What's the buzz? St. Baldrick's shear fun planned Friday for cancer research

With the celebration of St. Patrick's Day just past, St. Baldrick's isn't far behind.

A Fairfield group plans a St. Baldrick's head-shearing event at Osborn Hill School on Friday to raise money for the fight against pediatric cancer.

Team Teddy is seeking volunteers to collect pledges to be paid when they get their hair sheared off at the event, scheduled from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Stillson Road school. The group also accepts donations from non-participants.

Proceeds benefit the California-based St. Baldrick's Foundation, which funds pediatric cancer research projects, organizers said.

The hair-shearing tradition dates to a 2001 St. Patrick's Day party in a Manhattan pub, where 19 men got their heads shaved for charity. Bald heads show solidarity with chemotherapy patients who have lost their hair, and the St. Baldrick's Foundation grew out of that event.

Friday's event in Fairfield will be Team Teddy's fifth annual shearing party. The group is named in memory of Teddy Gerber, an Osborn Hill student who died in 2010 at age 9 from undifferentiated sarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer.

In its first four events, Team Teddy has raised more than $420,000, sponsors said, and their goal is to break the half-million-dollar mark with this year's proceeds.

Organizers said the party atmosphere would include music, baked goods, hot dogs, beverages and a raffle with prizes including a baseball autographed by former New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, a football signed by former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor, Boston Red Sox tickets and a catered party for 20 people.

At most St. Baldrick's events now -- including Team Teddy's -- heads are not shaved with razors, but buzzed closely with barber clippers.

To sign up to participate, to donate or for more information, visit www.stbaldricks.org and search for "Team Teddy-Osborn Hill School." Scroll down the search results to Friday's event.