August 3, 2012 By Bill Parry
When J.P. Barry lost his father to cancer 10 months ago, the Irish immigrant decided to organize a fundraising event in Woodside to raise funds to fight the disease.
The concept for his fundraiser was modeled after the popular Irish event called “Shave or dye.” Presenters at an Irish radio station ask listeners to sponsor them to shave or dye their hair to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.
Barry put together the first annual Woodside event at The Cuckoo’s Nest at 61-04 Woodside Ave. on Saturday night, with the proceeds also going to the Irish Cancer Society. Barry and 15 of his friends volunteered to participate and registered an array of different sponsors. They raised about $15,000.
Many of the volunteers participated for a variety of reasons and elected different ways to raise the funds.
Peter Hamilton, a Maspeth resident, shaved his hair off. He said that he had lost many family members to cancer “so when they asked I couldn’t say no.”
Meanwhile, Liz Kenny, from Woodside, dyed her hair purple. She said she felt compelled to participate. “My Aunt Emma is going through chemo right now at the age of 80.”
Anthony Beeney, a Woodsider from Donegal, said, “I’m going for the hair. There’s plenty of unfortunate folks that lose their hair and can’t grow it back. I can grow mine back and raise money at the same time.”