It was a record-breaking fundraiser for the 8th Annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation shave-athon at New York-New York on Saturday with more than $250,000 raised, surpassing last year’s $200,000. It took the total to more than $1 million from eight fundraisers, and more than 200 people shed their locks to raise funds for childhood cancer research.
For the sixth consecutive year, Vassiliadis Elementary Principal Paul Catania and 30 “The Baldrick Boys” members from John W. Bonner Elementary took turns in barber chairs on St. Baldrick’s Day to brave the shave, including team captain and founder Trey Lomax.
Cast members from “Zumanity” by Cirque du Soleil at New York-New York shaved their general manager’s head and hosted a hairstyle contest where the crowd used donations to vote on the ’do the show’s technical director should sport. Harrah’s headliners Tenors of Rock performed “House of the Rising Sun” while participating as head-shavers.
The highlight for me was watching “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace burlesque beauty Melody Sweets shave my colleague RJ columnist John Katsilometes. I chipped in, and, with his recent 51st birthday party where he nixed gifts in favor of donations to St. Baldrick’s, John raised more than $1,300.
Travis Cloer, who portrayed Frankie Valli in “Jersey Boys” at The Palazzo and Paris Las Vegas, served as MC and serenaded the crowd with a breathtaking performance of “Stand by Me.” The Coyote Ugly girls wowed with an upbeat line-dancing performance before they shaved execs from their New York-New York F&B department.
MGM Resorts International Executive VP and General Counsel John McManus was a top donor at St. Baldrick’s Day, raising an exceptional $100,000 on his fundraising page for the cause. Other celebrities and notables who attended St. Baldrick’s Day in a show of support:
Ventriloquist Terry Fator, singer Clint Holmes, Miss Teen Nevada USA Alexis Smith, comedy juggler Jeff Civillico, philanthropist Mark Shunock of “Mondays Dark” and cast members from “Magic Mike Live,” “Baz — Star Crossed Love,” “Fantasy,” “Absinthe,” Human Nature, Tournament of Kings, Thunder From Down Under and Chippendales.