Hoping to Cut $120K Check for Cancer Research, First Responders Get Haircuts

The 13th Annual LAFD/LAPD St. Baldrick's fundraiser featured about 200 volunteers

charlie beck shave hair
Beth Slepp-Paz

They're already heroes, but Los Angeles firefighters and police officers were among 200 volunteers who decided to "brave the shave" Saturday to raise money for cancer research, as event organizers put it.

The fundraiser aimed to bring in $120,000 for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which holds head-shaving events across the country to raise money for and awareness about cancers that afflict children.

Now in its 13th year, the event at Fire Station 89 in North Hollywood was held jointly by the Los Angeles Fire Department and Los Angeles Police Department.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck helped shave a boy's head at the event, which featured magicians, kids' activities, a pancake breakfast and silent auction.

"They need the help, and I think that all of us have an obligation to do that," Beck said.

One of the chief’s customers was 9-year-old Ryan Compton, the son of an LAPD officer and two-time cancer survivor.

The money pledged to the volunteers who shaved their heads at Saturday's event will go to the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which calls itself "the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants."

“I’m actually a cancer survivor myself,” said LAPD officer Paul Duke. “This kind of became a passion of mine to raise awareness and money, something I don't think any child should have to go through.”

Beck said "an amazing amount" of police officers were willing to participate.

"Some of them even let the chief do it, which is not the greatest idea, by the way," he joked.

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