If you go:
What: St. Baldrick’s benefit
Where: J’s Southern Smoke, 101 Colony Park Dr., Suite 100
When: Saturday, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Online: Donate or get more information at www.stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/10535/2013
Sarah Shapiro will take some weight off her shoulders in the hopes that other families can someday do the same.
Shapiro will have her hip-length hair shaved on Saturday to raise money for childhood cancer research through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
Her soon-to-be-bald head will be one of the fundraiser attractions planned for the event at J’s Southern Smoke, a restaurant in Cumming that she and her husband co-own.
The event from 3 to 5 p.m. will also include a silent auction, raffle and other ways to donate.
So far, the Forsyth County woman has raised about $1,000, and she hopes that by the end of the event on Saturday, she’ll have $5,000 in addition to no hair.
Shapiro said she heard about the organization through her brother, who has gotten his head shaved to raise money each March for the past seven years.
The night before her brother’s benefit event this year, Shapiro told her husband she should have joined in the fundraising.
At first, he thought the idea of shaving her head seemed a little crazy, she said, but given the great benefit of the dramatic hair loss, he was “all for it.”
“He knows what an awesome cause it is and how much it means to me,” she said. “Being a mom is the greatest joy of my whole life … [I] think if something ever happened to [my children], how helpless I would feel as a parent.”
Shapiro said this is something she can do to help sick children and the parents who love them.
“After all, it’s just hair, it’s going to grow back,” said Shapiro, who will also donate her ponytail to Locks of Love.
She’ll join a small percentage of female “shavees” who brave baldness to raise money. Nearly 85 percent of those who get their head shaved are men, according to the St. Baldrick’s site.
Shapiro said she’s impressed with the amount of donations from fundraisers that St. Baldrick’s gives directly to childhood cancer research — about 82 percent.
According to the Web site, another 16 percent goes toward fundraising expenses and 2 percent to administration costs.
Other local businesses must have deemed the cause worthy, since a variety of raffle and silent auction items were donated.
Auction items include a birthday party, concert tickets, horseback riding, teeth whitening, ultrasound gift card and more.
A Mary Kay representative will also be donating 100 percent of proceeds from on-site product sales, and the restaurant will give a portion of food sales.