was jumping on Saturday night with the spirit of Northport's most beloved charitable event-- . Held over Friday and Saturday last weekend and kicking off at the , the events raised over $371,681 in credit card donations for pediatric cancer and over 722 people shaved their heads in solidarity with the diagnosed. The total donation amount is expected to jump once cash and check donations are tallied in three to four weeks.
This year's ceremony was dedicated to who passed away in December. His son, Northport Police Officer and PBA President Peter Howard, led a team of officers who raised $11,296 and arrived for their group shaving on Saturday night preceded by the Suffolk County Police Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band.
As the bag pipes played inside the crowded bar, the men took their seats on a stage at the back of the house and volunteer barbers readied their buzzers. "Chief Bob Howard has been a member of our committee since day one, when we first came up with the idea to do this here in Northport," said Chief and St. Baldrick's organizer John McKenna, introducing Pete Howard. Howard, dressed in Scottish regalia, held up a large poster of his father and said, "I think it was 2003, he got his head shaved. My mom wasn't too happy about it, but he did it."
Howard said Detective Pete Hayes came up with the idea to form a team and together they were one of the top grossing units, alongside "Addie's Angels" which raised over $10,000 and shaved in honor of Addie F. who was diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at age 13, "Team Pall Corporation" which raised $21,054, and "Team Bunny" which raised over $10,559. To check out a full list of participants and teams, click here.
"Team Whitney" was the top grossing team with over $133,000 raised in honor of an infant who was diagnosed with Malignant Rhabdoid Tumor at 6 weeks old and had her entire kidney removed. On their team page, the representative writes, "Whitney is just about half way done with her Chemotherapy treatment program. On Feb. 27 she will turn five months old and will be starting her sixth treatment cycle. Whitney is doing amazing so far with few side effects from the treatments. She is extremely alert, happy, and continually growing and hasn't even lost all her hair yet. Mom and Dad are so proud of her and we BELIEVE that she will be cured!!!"
Pictures of local children diagnosed with cancer were hung all around the indoor perimeter of Napper's for the event. Those who had succumb to the disease were noted with a yellow angel pinned to the corner. As emcees Chief McKenna and Jim Mahoney drove home the reason for the otherwise happy festivities that night and pints were raised, the bagpipers played Amazing Grace to a contemplative audience. "We're very proud of what goes on here. Above all we need to find a cure for childhood cancer," said Pete Howard.
To read more about the people behind Northport's St. Baldrick's events check out posts from Patch blogger and St. Baldrick's volunteer .
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