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Dozens of Cazenovia school district staffers, students prepare for ultimate haircut

A handful of Cazenovia Central School District's St. Baldrick's volunteers pose for a "before" picture. Top row (from left): Cazenovia High School Principal Eric Schnabl, social studies teacher Joe Schettine, physical education teacher Brian Ellithorpe, art teacher Adam Reynolds and science teacher Sean Kelly. Bottom row (from left): business teacher John Dermody, teaching assistant Debbie Kutik, maintenance department employee Bill Poglitsh, Erin Kelly and Christopher Kelly.

A handful of Cazenovia Central School District's St. Baldrick's volunteers pose for a "before" picture. Top row (from left): Cazenovia High School Principal Eric Schnabl, social studies teacher Joe Schettine, physical education teacher Brian Ellithorpe, art teacher Adam Reynolds and science teacher Sean Kelly. Bottom row (from left): business teacher John Dermody, teaching assistant Debbie Kutik, maintenance department employee Bill Poglitsh, Erin Kelly and Christopher Kelly.

— When it comes to fundraising, most do-gooders offer to do something in return for donations: run, walk or dance. Others offer to sell you something like cookies, candles or wrapping paper. But those who participate in the annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraiser for pediatric cancer research offer an entirely different proposition: They pledge to lose something.

Their hair.

And in Cazenovia Central Schools, there’ll be plenty of losing. At last count, 18 district employees, at least 30 students and one board of education member were signed up to have their heads shaved March 16 — to not only raise money to fund research into childhood cancer, but also to stand in solidarity with children who lose their hair from cancer treatment.

The Cazenovia event — one of 1,122 scheduled around the world so far this year — will take place at 12:30 p.m., Sunday, March 16, at Cazenovia American Legion Hall Post No. 88, located at 26 Chenango St. Organized by Cazenovia High School science teacher Sean Kelly, the local event has increased its fundraising goal several times, as more and more volunteers joined and started banging the donation drum.

At this writing, the event had raised 84.5 percent of its most recent goal of $30,000.

“We still have four days to go, and donations continue to come in to the website,” Kelly said Thursday. “Not to mention the high school English department, which is collecting donations from students; high school secretary Julie Mattina, who is selling St. Baldrick's bracelets; Burton Street Elementary School, where students are bringing in cash for the privilege of wearing a hat all day Friday; and a huge bake sale that will take place at the event on Sunday.”

Kelly will be shaving his head for the third time, along with wife Erin Kelly and their son, Christopher, a 9-year-old third-grader at Burton Street Elementary.

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