For the eleventh straight year, the Los Angeles Fire Department and Los Angeles Police Department teamed up to fight childhood cancer by partnering with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The firefighters and cops got together and shaved their heads to raise funds to support childhood cancer research.
Keeping with tradition, this year’s event held on March 15th at Fire Station 89 in North Hollywood was another huge success—with a projected total of over $100K raised! In addition to the head shaving, International House of Pancakes North Hollywood provided a free breakfast, Starbucks offered the comfort of hot coffee, and other sponsors offered delicious products as well. It should be noted that the event also “christened” UFLAC Local 112’s new beautiful and “more manageable” BBQ with Fire Station 89’s Lee Hazelquist and Gabriel Olmedo cooking pancakes and sausages to soothe the hunger of the many participants!
The shaving started promptly at 7:30 am and didn’t stop until 3:00 pm. More than 200 brave souls were shaved, including several women and members of the public who joined us in the endeavor. One of special note was the Taggart family. Longtime St. Baldrick’s supporter LAFD Engineer Kelly Taggart lost his son John to cancer many years back and he continues to support this event every year—this year shaving with his children as well.
On the LAPD side, North Hollywood Officer Miriam Cooper’s 13 year-old daughter Sarah—always looking for something to do to help others—decided she would shave this year. When Sarah hit her goal of raising $1,000 in under 24 hours, Miriam challenged her to see if she could hit $3,000 and pledged to shave as well if Sarah met the goal. Wouldn’t you know, Sarah surpassed the goal and the mother/daughter shave was a big hit. Both the Cooper ladies looked stunning with their new clean look!
Kids of all ages were entertained by face painters, magicians, and caricature/balloon artists—all who donated their time and services for the cause. Laura Lichter with Precious Pix photography documented the event again with her professional skills and set up a photo booth to raise even more funds to fight childhood cancer.
Once again, a silent auction and raffle were held as part of the fun and fundraising. There were too many items donated by too many people too generous to list here. Their participation is always a crowd-pleaser and results in more funds going towards the cause. This part of the event is coordinated by Maggie Compton, wife of LAPD Officer Jason Compton and mom to cancer survivor Ryan—who shaved for the first time this year since valiantly beating cancer.
Just before noon a ceremony was held to honor childhood cancer survivors and their siblings. These participants received a bag of goodies donated by the Police and Firemen’s Credit Unions along with other sponsors. Also around that time longtime supporter Jay Leno made a surprise appearance in his vintage fire engine to hand deliver his check—generating even more excitement and fun at the event!
The monies generated come from the hard work of the participants reaching out to sponsors, who either give them cash or checks, or donate online at www.stbaldricks.org/events/lafdlapd (HINT—You can still donate online). On behalf of St. Baldrick’s, the LAFD, and LAPD we would like to thank all the participants, supporters, and sponsors for the event. Without them this event truly could not be a success and we are grateful for their support!
By LAFD’s Danny Wu and Sean Kennedy, and LAPD Lt. Greg Doyle
Photos by Laura Lichter – preciouspixphoto.com