Many locals walked into Napper Tandy's on Main Street in Smithtown with long, flowing hair on Saturday but left with shaved heads as part of the fund raising event St. Baldrick's Day.
St. Baldrick's Day is an event where participants raise money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, an organization that funds childhood cancer research grants.
While dozens of people participated, the biggest crowd of the event surrounded Cassandra Steinle, a 15-year-old Smithtown West High School student who is a Neuroblastoma IV survivor, but now critically ill from lung disease, a result of her treatments.
"I had cancer as a baby so of course it's important to me ... I figured that I would just raise money and I convinced my mom and dad to let me do it and I did it," she said.
Her goal initially was to raise $200, but after achieving her goal she raised it, and with each goal met the amount she set out to raise increased. Steinle raised $3,892 online prior to the event for the foundation.
Steinle, who had her head shaved by Napper Tandy's employee and freelance hair stylist Brittany Edgar, said she loves her new shaved head and that this will not be the only St. Baldrick's event she will participate in.
The 15-year old wasn't the only one in her family to get their head shaved as her brother, John, and her cousin, Bob Waddell, both sat in the chairs and left with bald heads. Waddell walked around the bar with a bucket collecting money to get him in the chair, and before sitting down to get his head buzzed raised $643 from attendees for the foundation.
"Team Mike and the Fat Man," a group of six locals that participate in St. Baldrick's Day events every year led by local Kevin Mongiello, managed to raise nearly $6,000.
"My mad, he got a lot of donations from his friends, me too," said Nesaquake Middle School student and team member Michael Mongiello, 11. "In school I raised $400 doing a lollipop sale. We bought a ton of Dum Dums lollipops and sold then during lunch periods."
Along with Kevin and Michael the team consisted of Zach Foley-Reis, Matthew Wertheim, Marcus Wertheim and Brian Eddington, a science teacher at Nesaquake.
Although she did not participate in this specific event, Michael's sister Kaitlyn, 8, cut off her 9-inch ponytail last week and donated it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, an organization that makes and provides wigs to cancer patients.
Men weren't the only ones sitting in the chairs getting shaved Saturday.
A three-woman team consisting of friends Rosie Delvalle, Jess Boss and Lauren Pawlyk, all shaved their heads for the cause. Delvalle and Pawlyk participated to show support for Boss, who lost her relative Sarah to cancer when she was 8 years old.
Another crowd-pleaser Saturday was when Dean Kastanias, a personal trainer at Energy Fitness in St. James, chopped off his ponytail, a ponytail that event organizer Bill Connick said was the longest of the event. Kastanias raised more than $4,500 for the foundation and donated his ponytail to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that gives hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children with long-term medical hair loss.
Early fund raising totals from the event website alone exceeded $30,000, according to Connick, and money raised during the event has not yet been calculated. Connick said he expects to know the total amount of money raised at the event by Wednesday. All shaves were performed by hair stylists from Ranie's Hair Design in Ronkonkoma.