Parade grows into fundraiser for St. Baldrick's

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Joanne Kosey

If bald is beautiful, there will be quite a few beautiful people walking around next week - particularly those who participate in the St. Baldrick's fundraiser to be held this weekend.

Originally started five years ago by former Brookfield, Riverside and now LaGrange Park resident Jimmy McCarthy as a "Just Enough Irish Parade" on Newberry Street in LaGrange Park, it grew into a fundraiser for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which benefits children's cancer research.

The number of those having their heads shaved and getting sponsors has grown from 20 people to over 170 who have already signed up for this year. To date more than $150,000 has been raised through the event.

According to McCarthy there are many people from the Riverside and Brookfield area who will be participating and donating their services, including Frank Paganis of Basili's, who will be not only a shaver but a shave as well.

Local school children have become involved raising money and having their heads shaved, too. Also, this year ponytails can be cut and donated to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths Program, a partnership between the hair-care products company and the American Cancer Society.

Due to the growth of the event, it will now be a two-day happening with the head-shaving festivities in a new venue. The event will be held at The Max sports complex, 4750 Vernon Ave. in McCook, on Friday, March 9 from 7 to 9 p.m.

The "Just Enough" parade will be held on Saturday, March 10 from noon to 4 p.m. on Newberry in LaGrange Park. Parade participants - it's a family event - will march on the sidewalk. After the parade the fun will continue with a block party on the street. Food will be available for purchase and a raffle.

According to McCarthy, "It started from one little idea and kept growing." The idea of having a "simple" parade and turning it into a successful fundraiser has proven to be not only a fun time but a worthy endeavor. He also noted that the village of LaGrange Park has been very supportive of the event and everyone is welcome.

In order to learn more about the St. Baldrick's organization one only needs to go to their website at stbaldrcks.org. If you have any questions about the local event email HoyMycek@att.net or call 773-852-8720. They will welcome having you sign up to have your head shaved or to sponsor someone.

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