For the third year in a row, the Frankfort Police Department sponsored a St. Baldrick's Day event where participants solicited pledges in exchange for shaving their heads in a show of solidarity with cancer patients.
Held at in Frankfort, shavees and their supporters enjoyed complimentary appetizers from owner Peter Gelis, who got in the spirit of things had his head shaved for the cause.
"We try to do things to help the community, to help people in need," Gelis said. "We donated the food and the room. I think this will be an annual event."
Jameson's parking lot overflowed with cars and inside was packed with people, some of whom had simply showed up for lunch. Like Bob Janeliunas, a 37-year resident of Frankfort.
"We came for lunch, but I got a haircut, too," he said.
"The wife's still smiling, so it must be okay," Janeliunas added, rubbing his hand over his newly smooth pate.
Officer Leanne Bender, who coordinated the event, said that many people walk in with pledges, but that other participants get involved because someone dares them, or they make a spontaneous decision to join in.
"That's a benefit to having it at a restaurant or bar here in town. A good number of people came here to support their friends and family, and then other people see what's going on," she said.
"The chief always does it. The cadets always do it. My husband tries to get me to do it. ... He's got it up to three or four thousand dollars (in donations) if I'll do it, but not yet," she added, patting her auburn ponytail that was tucked up in a bun.
Jameson's wasn't the only local business donating to the St. Baldrick's Day event. , Sport Clips and all provided stylists to do the shaving, and Salon Rhapsody donated gift certificates for the raffle. , and contributed to the raffle, as well.
The St. Baldrick's Foundation got its start in 2000 when a trio of reinsurance executives decided to raise $17,000 on March 17 for childhood cancer research. They exceeded expectations and raised more than $100,000 that year. Since then, almost 150,000 men and women have shaved their heads and raised more than $90 million for the foundation, according to its website.
To donate or find an upcoming St. Baldrick's event in Illinois, click here.