Over the past few months, Long Beach firefighters and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation have teamed up to support children fighting childhood cancers, it was announced this week.
Firefighters gathered to shave their heads at two different culminating events at Millikan High School and the Long Beach Fire Regional Training Center on St. Patrick’s Day in support of the cause, according to the Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD).
The LBFD was led by team captain Jim Fraser, who shaved his head for the fourth year in a row to raise funds to find a cure for childhood cancer.
“I wasn’t going to shave, but then a friend of mine posted on Facebook that her son, Austin Angel, was sick and needed help,” Fraser said in a statement.
Raising more than $3,000, Fraser was the top donating participant for the “Long Beach Shaves for Kids” event, while Long Beach Firefighters Local 372 & Friends doubled their fundraising goal, raising more than $22,500 this year, according to the release.
More than 80 Long Beach firefighters shaved their heads to support childhood cancer research, while those who had volunteered to shave their heads for seven or more consecutive years were inducted into the foundation’s “League of Legendary Heroes.”
Participants included barbers from Supercuts, Ohana Barbers and Floyd’s 99 Barber Shop, who attended as volunteer shavers.
As the St. Baldrick Foundation celebrates their 17th anniversary since throwing their first head-shaving event, they have raised more than $200 million toward childhood cancer research, while their events in Long Beach have raised over $1 million.
The Baldrick’s Foundation is the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants in the United States, according to the release.