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Mamaroneck Boys Raise $9,200 by Shaving Heads

MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Thirty-one Larchmont and Mamaroneck schoolboys ranging from 5 to 11 years old raised $9,200 for a pediatric cancer charity Saturday by shaving their heads at a fundraiser to show support for children with cancer.

“It feels weird, but I’m glad I did it,” said Connor Robinson, 9, who was cheered loudly by his friends and their parents as he shaved off all his hair.

He and Katie Broderick, 10, both attend Murray Avenue Elementary School in Larchmont and beat cancer as infants.

They co-chaired the Spring Buzz Cut With Murray Avenue Survivors to raise awareness of children undergoing cancer treatments. The event raised funds for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a national organization that funds research into childhood cancer and is known for its signature head-shaving benefit events for adults. A foundation spokesperson said such events have recently become popular with children as well.

While men and boys generally participate in the shave offs, girls and women are not precluded from cutting or shaving their hair at the fundraisers, said Connor’s mother, Katie Robinson.

Matt Sommer, 8, of Larchmont was the first to hop on a stool at the pub Molly Spillane’s in Mamaroneck to get a buzz cut from Joseph Abinanti. On the same basketball team as Connor, Matt said he was eager to get the event started in support of his friend.

“I want my children to know lucky they are with their health and family, and I want to encourage them to support others who are experiencing cancer and other health issues,” said Kyle De Lasa, whose three sons waited their turns to lose their hair.

Abinanti, a banker from Larchmont, said that while he has served as a barber at several St. Baldrick’s events in Westchester over the past four years, it was the first such local event with children participating.

“I think it’s great for the kids and to see them donate their time while raising money for a good cause,” he said.

Stephen Carty, owner of Molly Spillane’s, said he has supported St. Baldrick’s events at his Eastchester location, Mickey Spillane’s, and he was moved when approached to host a children’s version.

“To see kids doing something like this on a Saturday morning, it makes you feel good,” said Carty, who promoted the event in the restaurant’s advertising and on Facebook.

Throughout the morning there was a steady stream of boys stopping by on their way to or coming from their various sports practices. “It is very impressive to see this support,” Katie Robinson said.

The boys sported spray-painted designs on their bald or almost-bald heads after their cuts, while the girls rubbed their hands on the shaved heads of their brothers or friends.  A few girls, like Katie Broderick, sported stenciled designs in their own hair in support.

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