Officials, students shave heads for St. Baldrick’s Foundation

WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- A dozen West Allis city officials, firefighters and students braved going bald for a "life-shaving" cause.

At Hoover Elementary School on Monday, April 8th, they shaved their heads to show support for kids who lost theirs due to cancer.  Several firefighters took part as well as West Allis Mayor Dan Devine.

“It's very rewarding and it's so fun to see people jump on board,” Devine said.

The star of the group, however, was eight-year-old Braeden Rausch.

“I'm helping out lots of kids with sickness,” he said.

Braeden grew his hair out for two years and he's helping fight childhood cancer on two fronts.  Not only did he raise $1,500 for cancer research, he’s also donating the 10 inches of hair to Locks of Love, which will be used to make wigs for kids battling cancer and other diseases.

“It feels sort of weird now.  It feels bumpy, like I have no more hair,” he said.

“I'm very proud of him.  He's a good kid and he's very kind-hearted,” Braeden’s father Darren Rausch, who also joined the event said.

“I figured it was the least I can do.  I usually have my hair very short anyways and I'm almost bald, so I figured it was a good show of solidarity,” Rausch said.

The event was celebrated by the entire school.  In total, 450 students at Hoover raised more than $5,000 for the St. Baldrick's Foundation.

“What a great gesture for our boys and girls to learn how to be a great citizen to help out for this great cause,” Hoover Elementary School Principal Ali Hatab said.

It’s a cause that hits close to home for some participants.

“When I was a child, I had a friend die of Leukemia and both of my parents died of cancer,” Ben Koenig, a West Allis firefighter said.

With all this support, he hopes it'll a go long way to helping find a cure.

This is the fourth year West Allis city officials and residents have teamed up to host a St. Baldrick's event.  In four years, they've raised $36,000 for childhood cancer research.