The $1,600 Haircut

Kim Hurlbut was my first roommate in Syracuse when I moved here in August of 2003. I lived with her through some rough times for both of us, and, let's be honest, when I moved out in February 2005, we weren't on the best of terms.

But as time went by, we've grown back into casual friendship – we don't see each other much, but we get along fine when we do (we actually see each other on purpose, too, which is a good thing).

Kim became a hero of sorts on Sunday when she took the radical step of shaving of her hair in the name of charity.

We won't do the psychological thing here, primarily because she and I didn't talk about it. For some women, this is a really big deal. For others, eh, it'll grow back.

But Kim did manage to raise $1,600 for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which funnels money to find a cure for cancer in children.

Kim's hair was long enough that she also collected a donation to Locks of Love, which takes donations of 10 or more inches of hair to make wigs for children who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment.

Syracuse establishment Kitty Hoynes hosts the St. Baldrick's event every year. They have two rooms with four-to-five chairs, and a bunch of hair professionals stand on their feet all day and shave head after head.

This was my first year attending, and it's a fantastic atmosphere. Yes, the bar makes lots of money on beer and booze, but rather than serve food, they have a hot dog stand out back. It's clearly not a once-in-a-while publicity stunt. The restaurant had a team raise a bunch of money (and at least one of the workers wound up having a hair-based practical joke played on him), and was generally supportive of everyone who walked into the place, paying customer or not.

This is a great event. I'll definitely be back, and maybe next year I'll remember to not shave my head and beard within a week of it so that I can participate!

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