Volunteers go bald for cancer research

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - An event that started nine years ago in New York has made its way to South Mississippi.

Brave volunteers came out to the St. Baldrick's Foundation event to shave their heads for a fundraiser that benefits cancer research for children.

James Europe started off as a volunteer for this head shaving event when he lived in New York. Now, he's one of the volunteer event coordinators for the St. Baldrick's head shaving event right here on the Gulf Coast.

"I got started with this about eight years ago. A friend of mine was involved with it, and he's the one who kind of sold me on it. It just seemed like a fun thing to do, a good cause," Europe said.

Europe said organizing this event took a lot of time, but he was happy to see local Ocean Springs businesses, like Cox Barbershop, take the time to help out for this great cause.

"Jim stopped by the barbershop and just asked if we would be willing to help out with cancer research, the foundation to raise funds to help for the research, and we're more than willing to help out any way we can," said Cox.

Brita Wren, whose brother-in-law started the St. Baldrick's Foundation in New York, came to the event with her three children. They also believe in helping others for a good cause, and came to the event in honor of a family friend who lost her hair during chemo treatment.

"My boys are shaving their heads to kind of join in solidarity with her and to raise funds to help fight childhood cancer. My daughter Destiny is donating her ponytail so that they can make wigs for cancer patients," Wren said.

"This whole process has been incredibly stressful. I've just been a nervous wreck the last two months, but now that it's actually here and I've got people showing up, and we've already raised close to $5,000, it feels really good," said Europe.

The St. Baldrick's Foundation has raised over $2 million since it started in 2000, and it's all for research to find a cure for childhood cancer.

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