Just a day late of St. Patrick's Day, The Happy Viking Sports Pub & Eatery in Yuba City will again be hosting its annual St. Baldrick's event from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
This head-shaving fundraiser is a program sponsored by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated toward raising money for childhood cancer research. The name itself comes from a combination of St. Patrick's Day and "bald.”
The Happy Viking has been participating in this incentive for the past 14 years, an idea sparked by Eric Hankins, a battalion chief for the Yuba City Fire Department. A goal of $15,000 has been set and so far over $13,000 has been raised in early donations. According to previous attendees, the event is a friendly competition between the Yuba City Fire Department and crew members of The Happy Viking. People gather outside the restaurant and cheer on the “shavees” as they sheer off their locks to combat cancer. At the end, the top three fundraisers will be awarded a medal.
“We haven't been before but we’re excited to see some of the fun stuff they do,” said Tom Walther, a St. Baldrick’s donor and longtime member of the Early Risers Kiwanis Club in Yuba City. “Sometimes they shave mohawks on the participants and do other silly things before taking all the hair off.”
Currently, the top individual participants are listed as Eric Hankins, Chris and Sandee Drown, and Canon G., with the top three teams registered as Sutter Buttes F.O.O.L.S., Team Canman, and Realtors of Yuba Sutter. These participants have each already raised over $1,500 in donations.
“We’ve got a really well-rounded group of participants, including some females,” said Sandee Drown, a co-owner of The Happy Viking and president of the Yuba City Downtown Business Association. “I think we’ve raised about $61,000 since we started 14 years ago. And we usually average about 20 to 25 people who volunteer to have their heads shaved.”
Those who don’t want to shave their head may donate to a friend or participant at tinyurl.com/4h9thb2t. Donations can also be made at The Happy Viking on the day of the event. Organizers said anyone can volunteer to become a “shavee” and pre-registration is not required. Sport Clips Haircuts is credited as a national sponsor of the program and a local Sports Clips branch will be in attendance to offer its services throughout the event.