The event was held March 30 at LAFD Station 89 in North Hollywood. Organizing the day were LAFD Capt. I Danny Wu and LAPD Lt. Greg Doyle.
Volunteers were sponsored by friends and family. The volunteers agreed to have their heads shaved in solidarity with children undergoing treatment. At press time, donations were continuing to come in, totaling more than $55,000. In its 17 years of local participation, the event has raised more than $1.2 million.
The local event is part of the nationwide St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
Worldwide, more than 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer every year, and sadly it
takes the lives of more children in the United States than any other illness. At the local St. Baldrick’s event, LAFD Firefighters and Police Officers had their heads shaved in solidarity with other brave Angelenos to support children who have lost their hair from cancer treatments. By raising money through pledges to cut their hair, shavees like Firefighter Rudy Rocha helped the St. Baldrick’s Foundation by funding research grants specifically designated towards finding a cure. After the U.S. government, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is the largest source of funding for childhood cancer research.
Like events in the past, this year’s event was “all about the kids.” Magicians with their tricks from the Magic Castle mesmerized the little ones. Frozen character Elsa and Anna from Your Magical Party posed for pictures with the children. LAFD Supply and Maintenance’s talented artist Derrick Tinsley drew amazing caricatures of the kids, and families enjoyed exploring the LAPD Historical Society’s vintage patrol cars and having their photo taken in Laura Lichter’s LAPD motorbike picture booth.
LAFD Capt. Cody Weireter arrived in the famous Bandwagon fire engine, and families waited patiently to take pictures with the vintage apparatus. As with tradition, the crowd enjoyed a delicious free pancake and sausage breakfast from Pancake Factory North Hollywood as food for hundreds of hungry mouths was cooked on UFLAC’s “Mother of All Barbecues.” The crowd quenched its hunger and thirst further with drinks and snacks from KENK USA’s Kelly Khoury. Huntington Hospital’s Jackie Baca-Geary recruited donors for a blood drive, and LAFD Firefighter Roger Sackaroff stopped by to support the Be the Match bone marrow registration effort in support of his son, Jesse.
Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union employee Kevin Le again helped organize an amazing silent auction (with donations by the Club, Home Depot, Sears, LAPD Air Support Division, Fire Axe Inc., So Cherry Cute, Fire Attire, and others) — contributing more than $3,700 to this year’s event! Grey’s Anatomy actor Jason Winston George and LAFD Dispatcher Deby Herdich both smiled as seasoned event barbers who shaved heads like pros, while Civil Air Patrol Cadet Post Adviser Shawnie Livera stepped up to have her annual head shaving!
LAFD Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas shaved LAFD co-organizer Capt. Danny Wu’s dome, and new LAPD Police Chief Michel Moore looked entertained as he began buzzing LAPD co-organizer Lt. Greg Doyle’s hair in front of an approving crowd.
Councilmember Paul Krekorian also made an appearance, as his Council office graciously donated all the tables and chairs, while former LAFD Cadet Stephen Celi and his talented band Dark Desert Highway entertained the crowd with live music in collaboration with donated DJ services from LAFD Firefighter Greg Balandran.
Thank you also to all that volunteered, pledged, participated and brought your families out for a worthy cause. A special token of gratitude goes out to Fire Station 89 for hosting the event, ACE Party Rentals in North Hollywood for donating event supplies, and LAPD Det. Nick Sinclair for his hard work and enthusiasm as a new LAPD co-organizer.
We look forward to seeing you all next year, and remember it’s not too late to donate online at: www.stbaldricks.org/events/lafdlapd