CHATHAM–The seventh annual St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event commenced as it does each year, with Roman Palleschi. The event, which was held at the Chatham High School gymnasium last Sunday, was inspired by Roman’s battle with cancer eight years ago. The Chatham High School baseball team traveled to Albany to participate in a St. Baldrick’s event there that year. The following year Chatham organized its own event.
Roman was one of the first to get his head shaved this year.
Activities at the local March 19 event included a bounce house, face painting and a silent auction, but the main event was the shaving of the heads of dozens of people who had raised money to benefit research for childhood cancer treatments. Chatham’s events have raised over $100,000 with 60 people signed up and many walk-ins, according to organizers.
There are many repeat “shavees,” but this was 9-year-old Cali Adamski’s first time and her hair was quite long. She had the largest lengths of her hair cut in hanks that would be donated to Pantene. The company will have them made into wigs to be given free of charge to people whose cancer treatment had caused them to lose their hair.
Cali found about the event at the hair salon. She got the idea in part from her mom, and because her teacher Erica Riddick’s daughter, Tori, was honored at the 2015 St. Baldrick’s event for her cancer fight.
Cali was the only girl in her elementary school to shave her head.
“I was so nervous!” she said. And now, she says of her shiny, bald head, “It feels better, and saves a lot of time in the morning. In school everybody wants to touch my head.”
Cali went around the school and to businesses on Main Street in Chatham before the event, and, with the commitment to have her head shaved, she raised $350 for the cause.