Teacher Jerry Berger knew he would need to shave his head by midsummer for his role as Oliver Warbucks in Overshadowed Theatrical Productions' summer musical, Annie.
He just didn't know how much shaving his head off would mean to the Westgate school community in Arlington Heights, where he has been a K-5 music teacher for the past 17 years.
"I was planning to shave my head for this role, so I thought, why not do it at the school and raise funds for a very worthy cause?" Berger said.
That's when he chose to raise money to support the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds childhood cancer research.
Berger raised about $300 in less than a week, and surpassed his original goal by over $100, thanks to the help of the Westgate community, as well as family and friends.
During the June 3 shaving in front of the students, celebrity shavers included School District 25 superintendent Dr. Sarah Jerome, Westgate principal Caz Badynee and Berger's wife, Happi.
Another highlight of that morning was a surprise visit from Tank, the dog that will play "Sandy" in the production. Westgate students enjoyed watching him do some tricks on the stage prior to the head shaving.
"What a great way to start off the last week of school," Principal Badynee said.
Annie will be presented at Living Hope Church, 777 S. Meacham Road, Elk Grove Village, from July 12 to August 3.
For more information, visit overshadowedproductions.com or call (630) 250-7518. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for seniors and students.