AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin firefighters told cancer to buzz off Saturday afternoonwith a good ol' head shave - all in efforts to raise money vitalfor childhood cancer research.
"It's just showing the children that we support them, that we'rehere with them and that we can shave our heads and look just likethem to show them that we have a lot of support and a lot of love,"said AustinFire Department firefighter Bob Vickery, who participated inthe event with his two young sons - Kellen, 6, and Tomsen, 4.
This is the second year Vickery's sons participated in the eventwith him, something he's done for the past three years. Vickerysaid the boys didn't hesitate and were eager to shave theirheads.
"We were shaving out heads for the sick kids," said Kellen. "Wewanted to raise money."
Austin firefighter Chris Moren was inspired to participate afterhis good friend lost his 5-year-old son to neuroblastoma.
"I got the guys fired up at my station," said Moren. "I think ifyou look at the guys at the fire station, we're all prettymotivated individuals. And when we find something to latch onto, wetend to go for it."
The St. Baldrick's Foundation raises money for childhood cancerresearch primarily through head-shaving events, like the one atDell Children's Medical Center. About 160 people volunteered toshave their head for the event Saturday.
Volunteers - sponsored by family, friends and employers - gobald in solidarity with kids who typically lose their hair duringcancer treatment.
"It's something good to be part of," said Moren. "It's easy, andit generates a lot of money. And hopefully, we can find a cure forcancer."
St. Baldrick's is world's largest volunteer-driven fundraisingevent for childhood cancer research. The nonprofit organizationfunds more in childhood cancer research grants than anyorganization except the U.S. government, it handed out more than$12 million in 2009.
Though St. Baldrick's is headquartered in Pasadena, Calif., itsoutreach efforts have hosted events across the globe in 24countries and throughout the United States.
"Get involved. Find something - anything - that helps," advisedMoren. "If everybody does their share, we might be able to find acure for cancer or any other disease that's getting kiddos oradults."
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Family and friends held a vigil Wednesday at the State Capitol in hopes that a Bastrop man can win a new trial.
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