Ketchum resident Danny Walton, 34, calls himself a ski bum with a mop of hair. However, Walton is being humble. He helps run the annual Telemark ski series each year and last year was named commuter of the year by the Wood River Rideshare. He is accustomed to giving back to the community.
In 2006, when his sister was diagnosed with cancer, he shaved his head and donated it to Locks of Love, an organization that turns real locks into hairpieces and wigs for children with cancer. His hair has grown back, wild and unruly.
"I have a big, curly Irish hair," he said. "I'm going to have it shaved off for St. Baldrick's."
This will be the first year there has been a St. Baldrick's event in the Wood River Valley. It will be held at the Roosevelt Tavern in Ketchum from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 15. There are only two in Idaho; the other will be in Boise.
Sam Adicoff and his wife, Sue Connor, decided to hold the event here in honor of their daughter, Sarah Adicoff, a senior at The Community School. Sarah, 17, was diagnosed with sinus rhabdomyosarcoma in November 2005.
"One of Sarah's doctors shaved her head last year for St. Baldrick's," Connor said. "She's a pediatric oncologist in Boise. We donated to her head shaving. Then we thought how brave Sarah had been to go around with her bald head and decided to do it here ourselves."
Anyone one willing to start anew can sign-up to participate in the event one-line at www.Stbaldricks.org. They then raise money by encouraging friends and family to donate on-line or at the event on their behalf. People can also donate by calling (888) 899-BALD.
Joanne and Bob Brand of the Third Floor Salon in Hailey will do the shaving honors. The Brands are old hats at the process. They annually do shavings at the Share Your Heart Ball in Sun Valley, which benefits the American Cancer Society's Camp Rainbow Gold.
Connor's hair is long enough now that Joanne Brand will send it to Locks for Love, she said. Her son, Jake, will also shave his head, along with Walton, Robi Self, Peter Becker, and two of Sarah's teachers at The Community School, Chris McEvoy and Harry Weeks. They have put together a team and have said they will do it if they can raise $1,000 from students.
Jake Adicoff's message on the St. Baldrick's site says, "My sister has cancer, and I need a haircut, so I thought I would raise money for this organization that raises money for children's cancer organizations. Please sponsor me for getting a buzz." Twenty-seven people have donated already for his sacrificial shave, exceeding his goal. He has raised 133 percent.
St. Baldrick's began in New York City as a dare between three friends in 1999. Since then the event is considered to be one of the world's biggest volunteer-driven fundraising programs for childhood cancer. Usually held the week of St. Patrick's Day, events have taken place in 10 countries and 42 U.S. states, raising more than $20 million and shaving more than 26,000 heads. Money raised is given in grants to research fellowships and to the Children's Oncology Group, a worldwide clinical trial cooperative group supported by the National Cancer Institute with the mission of studying childhood cancers.
Many folks return to the razor time and again. Walton's history with St. Baldrick's began his own family.
"My brother has a bar in downtown Cleveland, AJ Roccos," Walton said. "He hosted a St. Baldrick's event last year. They raised $180,000. This year they already have 70 people signed up. My brother, my dad, my brother-in-law have all done it. His whole staff are shaving their heads, even the girls. It's going to be classic."
Walton and the others continue to seek donations.
"I think it's the right thing to do," he said.