It’s been almost a year since Joseph Incalcatera, 35, of Islip, cut his wavy reddish-blonde hair, and will probably be another before doing so again. This time, Incalcatera took it further -- upping the ante by cutting his beard, mustache and eyebrows -- and all for a good cause. Incalcatera’s locks raised $4,500 for the annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation head-shaving event, held last Sunday at Lily Flanagan’s of Islip.
Incalcatera has participated in the event for six years, each time offering his year-long hair growth to raise funds for childhood cancer research.
“It’s emotional,” Incalcatera explained, “but we do it for the kids.” With his father, Joseph, 65, at his side, the event has become a family affair.
Armed with a razor, the elder Incalcatera proudly shaved his son’s hair.
“My father enjoys it,” explains the younger Incalcatera. “The duller the buzzer, the better,” he chuckles, reminded of past shavings that didn’t go as smoothly.
For the Incalcateras, participation is deeply rooted. When mother JoAnn, 62, responded positively to cancer treatments years ago, she wanted to give back and show support for children afflicted with cancer. Last December marked five years of JoAnn’s remission.
The event proved emotional for all involved. Jessica Lentz, 29, of Islip, donated her cosmetology services for the event. “You do something thinking it’s just nice to give back, but you don’t realize how personal the experience gets,” explained Lentz, whose father Bob was diagnosed with leukemia eight years ago.
“My dad had leukemia when I was 21, and it was horrible,” Lentz said. “My world crashed. He was the strongest person in my world. He went through all these trials and is now cancer-free eight years later. A lot of those drugs he volunteered to try saves these kids now,” she said. “He’s a hero to these kids and it’s my way to give back,” explained Lentz.