Legislators join together to lose hair, support kids

Posted: Sunday, March 20, 2011

Alaska legislators and staff turned out Friday in an effort that crossed both party and gender lines to have their heads shaved.

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The effort was to support the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which has a goal of ending childhood cancers and the toll cancer takes on lives.

As part of the international charity’s event, supporters gathered at T.K. McGuire’s at the Prospector Hotel to lose their locks.

“I hid the comb in the back of the medicine cabinet, put the brush in a drawer, and now I’ll just towel off my head and that will be it,” said Rep. Carl Gatto, R-Palmer.

Those participating in the Alaska Legislature’s team included Rep. Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage.

She helped organize the team, but had much more hair to lose than did already bald Rep. Alan Dick, R-Stony River, who nonetheless shaved his beard.

The event also had Democratic support, with Rep. Chris Tuck, an Anchorage Democrat, being an early ally of Millet in rounding up more legislators to participate.

Rep. Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak, was reluctant to participate, but offered on the House floor to pledge $50 for each of his colleagues which would have their heads shorn.

Former Fairbanks newscaster Rep. Bob Miller, D-Fairbanks, shaved off his salt-and-pepper locks, but asked for something other than just donations for the foundation.

“At least you can kick in for a bottle of Minwax for those of us who will be bright and shiny come Monday morning,” Miller said.

Rep. Max Gruenberg, D-Anchorage, also got his hair shaved, but the result was less dramatic.

Some legislative staff joined in as well, with House page Hanna Davis leading the way.

St. Baldrick’s organizers said that the event raised more than $25,000 by the end of the evening, with additional donations expected.

• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 586-4816 or at patrick.forgey@juneauempire.com.

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