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Two hours, 113 heads and one big pile of hair

By Stephen Lega

Wearing his hair short is nothing new for Angel Pasqual. He was a Marine for eight years.

But for the last four years, Pasqual has participated in St. Baldrick's as a member of the Marion Adjustment Center team.

"I figure this is for a better cause," he said.

Pasqual has a personal reason to participate as well. Both his parents had cancer.

"I just hate to see somebody's little kid go through that," he said.

Pasqual was one of the 113 people who offered up their heads to raise money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which provides grants for children's cancer research.

Eric Daugherty, of CNB, said $20,359.48 was collected this year. The goal was to raise $15,000.

After this year's event, Marion County has raised $92,548.70 for St. Baldrick's through the shaving of 395 heads.

Some of the returning participants were also some of the youngest.

Sammi Jo Potters, 9, had her head shaved for the third time this year, and Spencer Riggs, 8, was able to raise $261 by coming back to St. Baldrick's again.

In addition to the veterans, many shavees were participating for the first time.

One of them was Lottie Robey, who is a 25-year cancer survivor. She also had her head shaved in memory of the late Tyler Miles.

"I'm just grateful to be alive and to be able to help with the little ones," she said.

Robey was one of several female participants.

A few chairs down, Amanda Mattingly, was having her head shorn for the first time.

"I thought if it takes me shaving my head to raise money for kids cancer research, why not," she said.

A few minutes later, mother and daughter Lorine and Katie Gunn both had their heads shaved as well.

Lorine said her new hair style felt good.

"It's for a good cause and a fresh start," Katie Gunn said.

St. Baldrick's also received a visit from Matthew Miles, 8, who was the ambassador child in 2008. Miles was diagnosed with acute lyphocytic leukemia when he was 4 years old. Daugherty announced that Miles has not had a chemotherapy treatment in more than a year.

The event also provided a lesson for one of this year's participants.

Farm Bureau President Joe Paul Mattingly agreed to get his head shaved when Daniel Mattingly, a returning shavee, suggested that the president have his head shaved during a Farm Bureau meeting.

Joe Paul Mattingly said he agreed to do it if everyone at the meeting donated. They all did, and he raised $100.

But he's already setting his sights a little higher for the 2011 event.

"Next year I'll try for $500," he said.