After 18 months, Franklin Square resident Anton Bruchhauser finally fulfilled a promise that he made to his 6-year-old daughter’s classmate, Madison Lewinger.
Diagnosed with cancer at the age of 2, Lewinger lost her hair after undergoing chemotherapy treatments, so Bruchhauser promised her that he’d grow his hair out and donate it to Locks of Love, an organization that provides wigs to those with medical hair loss.
On Saturday afternoon, Bruchhauser, 45, had his head shaved at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation event at Washington Street School in Franklin Square, and he donated about 10 inches of hair to Locks of Love. He also raised money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-based organization that hosts events to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer research.
“I told the guys at work that if I raised $1,000, I would come into work as Friar Tuck from Robin Hood,” said Bruchhauser, who left a ring of hair along his hairline unshaved.
He was one of about 150 people to have his head shaved for the event.
More than 500 people attended the St. Baldrick’s Foundation event at the school in honor of the five students in the Franklin Square School District who were diagnosed with cancer, including Lewinger; her twin brother, Jack Lewinger; Tyler Zatarin; Matthew Salter and David Jones.
Volunteers gathered to shave heads, paint faces, attach green hair extensions and sweep the shaved hair off the gymnasium stage. Participants also donated money by buying raffle tickets for prizes donated by local shops.
“It’s a lot of fun seeing people get their heads shaved, but it can also be very emotional when you hear parents speak about their own children’s lives being affected by cancer,” said John Stella, vice principal of Washington Street School, who organized the event after attending a St. Baldrick’s Foundation event at Rockville Centre last year.
The school was able to raise more than $50,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
“I’m so proud to be a member of this community,” said 34-year-old Maura Lewinger, mother of Madison and Jack Lewinger. “Everyone is reaching out and showing their support. It’s just wonderful.”