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updated: 3/9/2014 10:44 PM

Taking it off the top to benefit cancer research

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  • Video: Close shaves to fight cancer

  • Video: A bald look for St. Baldrick's

  • Conner Torkillsen, 8, of Lake Villa has his hair cut by Trish Griffin while his dad, Dave, and brother, Matthew, get theirs sheared nearby during the "Taking It All Off for Cancer" event Sunday during a benefit for the St. Baldrick's Foundation at the Fox Lake Fire Department Bingo Hall.

       Conner Torkillsen, 8, of Lake Villa has his hair cut by Trish Griffin while his dad, Dave, and brother, Matthew, get theirs sheared nearby during the "Taking It All Off for Cancer" event Sunday during a benefit for the St. Baldrick's Foundation at the Fox Lake Fire Department Bingo Hall.
    photos by Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Hair stylist Amy Lang cuts the hair of Jim McClure of Grayslake during the "Taking It All Off for Cancer" event Sunday at the Fox Lake Fire Department Bingo Hall. This is the seventh time McClure has undergone a shave for cancer research. He hopes to raise more than $7,000.

       Hair stylist Amy Lang cuts the hair of Jim McClure of Grayslake during the "Taking It All Off for Cancer" event Sunday at the Fox Lake Fire Department Bingo Hall. This is the seventh time McClure has undergone a shave for cancer research. He hopes to raise more than $7,000.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Tyler Weidman, 8, of Grayslake sits nervously as his hair is cut by Kate LaCasse of Algonquin during the "Taking It All Off for Cancer" event Sunday at the Fox Lake Fire Department Bingo Hall. Firefighters, police, and the general public had their heads shaved to raise money for cancer research through the St. Baldrick's Foundation.

       Tyler Weidman, 8, of Grayslake sits nervously as his hair is cut by Kate LaCasse of Algonquin during the "Taking It All Off for Cancer" event Sunday at the Fox Lake Fire Department Bingo Hall. Firefighters, police, and the general public had their heads shaved to raise money for cancer research through the St. Baldrick's Foundation.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
By Gilbert R. Boucher II
gboucher@dailyherald.com

Firefighters, police officers and other volunteers from Lake and McHenry counties took more than a little off the top Sunday for the "Taking It All Off for Cancer Research" event at the Fox Lake Volunteer Fire Department Bingo Hall in Ingleside.

The volunteers raised thousands of dollars for childhood cancer research by having their heads shaved at the annual St. Baldrick's event. The group included young children and grown men who smiled as they sat in the chair, then frowned as they watched their hair fall away at the hands of volunteer hair stylists, many of them from Shear Genius of Grayslake.

Among the volunteers was Jim McClure of Grayslake, who's participated in seven St. Baldrick's events.

"I had a sister pass away in (1959) with a Wilms' tumor, a form of kidney cancer," McClure said as he waited to have his gray locks cut. "Back then there was a 5 percent survival rate. Today it is 95 percent. For me, it's pretty easy to do. I haven't cut my hair since Halloween."

McClure hoped to raise more than $7,000 thanks to matching funds from his company, Anixter of Glenview. Last year's effort raised $20,000, with 70 people getting a shave, figures organizers hoped to surpass by the time the last hair was clipped Sunday. St. Baldrick's events have raised more than $50 million for cancer research since the first event in 2000. For more information about St. Baldrick's visit www.stbaldricks.org.

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