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Principal’s mohawk loss a big win at Farmingdale St. Baldrick’s event

Fundraiser at The Nutty Irishman eclipses last year's total.

Albany Avenue Elementary School principal Joseph Valentine got

Albany Avenue Elementary School principal Joseph Valentine got a mohawk during the St. Baldrick's Foundation #Shave2Save event at The Nutty Irishman in Farmingdale on March 18. Credit: Jessica Chin

For the young boys and girls of Albany Avenue Elementary School in North Massapequa and Woodward Parkway Elementary School in South Farmingdale, it was a friendly competition.

For Albany Avenue principal Joseph Valentine, not quite so much…

Woodward Parkway edged Albany Avenue $18,000 to $17,000 in fundraising for March 18’s St. Baldrick’s Foundation #Shave2Save fundraiser for pediatric cancer research at The Nutty Irishman in Farmingdale.

Per the competition agreement, Albany Avenue principal Joseph Valentine had his hair shaved into a mohawk and was to later have it dyed green for the week.

But as usual for a St. Baldrick’s event, there weren’t really any losers. According to William Hroch, one of the event’s organizers, the fundraiser was expected to have raised about $132,000, $10,000 more than the 2017 event.

For Hroch and fellow organizer Monica Kuchinskas, this was their eighth year organizing the fundraiser and their second at The Nutty Irishman.

“To see the little kids come and do it every year, they do it for a friend, for a family member, it brings the community together, it brings families together,” Hroch said on why he volunteers. “Grandmas come now to see their little grandchild shave their head.”

Hroch also participated in the fundraiser as a shavee for his 15th year. This year he raised $1,600 and shaved his head again with his son Bill, who started in second grade and is now a college freshman.

Eight-year old Daniel Smith, who had grown his hair past his shoulders to have the right look for hockey season, had his luscious locks shaved off. He raised about $1,600 all by himself for the cause despite it being his first time shaving and fundraising. His favorite part of the whole experience?

“Feeling the breeze!” Smith said while smiling and touching the back of his bald head. Despite it being his first time, Smith laughed and smile throughout the whole process.

The fundraiser saw many first-time shavees participate, including Melissa Nielson, who was one of the few women at the fundraiser to get her head shaved.

“We had supported a few people in the prior years so this year we had decided we were going to do it,” Nielson said about why she and her two kids decided to participate. Her kids raised $600 for the cause and she raised an additional $200 from the audience.

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