Bonner students shave heads for St. Baldrick’s fundraiser

Five little Summerlin boys are marked men.

They had their heads shaved as part of the third annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraiser event hosted by Nine Fine Irishmen at New York-New York, 3790 Las Vegas Blvd. South. The buzzing took place March 3 on the bridge of the hotel-casino.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity marked by shaving heads, was begun as a dare between friends. The nonprofit group is committed to funding research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

The five boys — Anthony Paolicelli, Barrett Johnson, Trey Lomax, Diego Collins and Matt Paolicelli, all kindergarten students at Bonner Elementary, 765 Crestdale Lane — went under the electric razor to raise $2,500. Their goal was $1,000.

The idea to do it as a group was credited to Trey, 6, who had attended last year’s event and watched a family friend get a buzz cut. How did he convince his buddies to join him for this year’s shaving?

"I told them, ‘You’ll look so cool, you’ll look mean and tough,’ " he said.

They all took the stage together as family and friends took pictures. Trey had his barber leave a little in the back. It’s in the shape of a four-leaf clover.

Michael Kennedy, executive director of food & beverage at New York-New York, said the casino was always looking for ways to support the community.

The first year raised $44,000 with 80 shaved heads, most of them New York-New York employees. The second year, $80,000 was raised with 200 heads shaved, and this year, $101,000 was raised when 230 people had their heads shaved.

Over the years, as many as two dozen women have volunteered to be shaved. Some of them donated first to Locks of Love –which needs 10 inches of hair to make free wigs for cancer patients — before undergoing the electric razor.

Kennedy said seeing people with shaved heads keeps the effort going.

"When you walk into Gallagher’s Steakhouse, the whole staff is shaved," he said of New York-New York’s restaurant. "It’s a real conversation starter … And you’re definitely not going to get any hair in your food."

Trey said he will get a buzz cut again at next year’s St. Baldrick’s event. No word on whether his buddies will join him.

Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at jhogan@viewnews.com or 387-2949.

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