Mounds of hair fell onto Mother Road Brewery's side lot on Friday as one-fifth of its staff went from having hair — long, short, curly, red you name it -- to having none at all.
The seven brewery employees were among a total of 38 individuals and three teams participating in northern Arizona’s first St. Baldrick’s Head Shaving gathering.
The nonprofit, based out of Montrovia, Calif., promotes the event in communities across the United States in an effort to raise money for childhood cancer research.
Flagstaff's first-ever iteration of the event was organized by Evan Luthye, a sales manager at Mother Road, who participated in a 2012 shaving event in Denver and was inspired to bring it to northern Arizona.
“It was when my wife and I first started dating, we both participated in the Denver St. Baldrick's event, raised a ton of money and fell in love with the community and the organization and what they were doing” Luthye said.
Approximately 50,000 people volunteer as so-called "shavees" each year, according to St. Baldrick's -- gathering donations from friends, family and acquaintances.
Five crew members from Flagstaff Fire Department's Station 1 had already gathered about $2,300 come Friday.
"We saw that it was a good cause and something we could do," said Matt Smyers, a firefighter with Station 1's B-shift.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4 out of every 5 children and teens with cancer survive their cancer. However, childhood cancer survivors are likely to need follow-up care for the rest of their lives in order to prevent long-term side effects of treatment including heart disease, infertility or developing another type of cancer.
Fourteen-year-old Siona Van Holten shaved off 30 inches of straight brown hair, live-streaming it on her Instagram as her friends and family cheered her on.
"Both sides of my family have dealt with cancer," she said, "which is the reason I wanted to do this."
Two hair stylists from Flagstaff's Head First salon -- Kelsey Rouiller and Heather Quinn -- were hard at work shaving the volunteers.
Luthye had been growing his hair since first shaving it seven years ago at his first St. Baldrick's event. On Friday both it and his beard were completely gone.
"With long hair and a beard -- especially now with as much facial hair as I have -- I was hoping, personally, to be able to get a lot of good donations because not too many people in Flagstaff have seen me without a big mop and beard," he said.
All salvageable hair from Flagstaff participants was sent to Crowns of Courage, a Scottsdale company that uses real hair to make wigs for young people who have lost theirs as a result of chemo or radiation.
Typically young people who have either received a recent diagnosis or experienced the disease speak at St. Baldrick's shavings, something Luthye is planning to do at the next event in coordination with Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
“I’m doing my best to make this an annual thing,” he said.
At the end of the evening, the event had garnered a total of $17,000 in donations as well as plenty of hair.