Fire captain shaves to raise money

Published 10:02 pm Saturday, April 2, 2011

Shaving: Kelly Stallard, 15, who has cystic fibrosis, shaves her father’s head as he fulfills his promise to go bald if his co-workers helped him raise at least $2,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. By the end of the night, his mustache was gone, as well.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Captain Kenneth Stallard got an extreme makeover Friday when he shaved his head, mustache and arms to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The disease hits home for Stallard. His 15-year-old daughter Kelly was diagnosed with the disease when she was only 2 years old.

In early March, Stallard asked his fellow Fire and Rescue employees to raise money for the foundation. He made a deal — the more they raised, the more hair he would lose.

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If they raised $1,000, he told them, he would lose the hair; for $1,500, he’d ditch the mustache and finally, for $2,000, he’d shave his forearms.

Altogether, the fire department employees raised $2,246 for cystic fibrosis.

Since their daughter’s diagnosis, Stallard and his wife, Tracey, along with family members and friends have raised more than $257,000 to support the research of the life-threatening disease that affects the lungs and digestive system.

“I thought this would be a good way for me to raise something on my own,” Stallard said. It also turned out to be a good way to get the fire department involved.

Tracey said she thought the idea was great, even though she was nervous to see her husband without a mustache for the first time in 25 years.

“He’s had his mustache as long as we’ve been dating,” she said.

Kelly also was apprehensive about seeing her dad’s new look, saying she’s never seen him without a mustache.

When it was time for Stallard to face the razor, it was Kelly who did the honors, carefully taking off her father’s hair little by little.

Numerous firefighters and rescue workers watched as Stallard honored his promise. Most of them were just as anxious to see the mustache gone, calling shaving his head the preliminary round and the mustache the main event.

When Stallard finished shaving his upper lip, he first turned to Tracey, who gasped suddenly and clapped her hand over her mouth in surprise.

“Are you going to be OK if I don’t look at you for the next few weeks?” Tracey asked.

Stallard wasn’t the only one who got a new look Friday. Eight others shaved their heads to support the fire captain.

“The fire department has really gotten behind him,” Tracey said. “They’ve been very supportive.”

At the request of the Fire and Rescue members, Stallard agreed to stay cleanly shaven for the next three weeks as an added condition to the deal.