If you call the Asheville Fire Department in the next few weeks, don’t be surprised if they show up hairless.
In part to honor the memory of Paxten Mitchell, in part to raise funds for childhood cancer research, more than 50 firefighters shaved their heads in front of fire station 10 in West Asheville Saturday morning, Sept. 22.
It was a close shave for top fund raiser, with two Mikes — Mike Webb and Mike Riley — neck and neck on total donations raised. “We are not sure right now which Mike won,” said Angie Bell, event organizer and spokesperson for the Asheville Firefighters Association. “Webb managed to raise more money from individual donors, even getting cash at the event by walking around half-shaved. Riley used the super-PAC model and had a single large donor.”
No matter the method, the results were impressive. The $10,000 goal was exceeded by at least $1,100.
“I am, like I always am, overwhelmed at these events,” said Rob Mitchell. His son Paxten died at age 4 of cancer.. “I was not going to shave my head today, but you know, I know [my son] would understand how I am feeling.” His hair came off in thick black clumps, hitting the concrete in the sun soundlessly.
A few feet to his right, Fire Chief Scott Burnette‘s brown hair rained down his shoulders onto the same concrete. “It just got 10 degrees cooler around here,” said Burnette, getting up from the chair.
Mike Webb solicits funds to complete his shaving.