$3K Clipping at Bar Aids Charity

Al Ziedins walked into O’Neill’s Irish Pub with his fiancée and mother March 12 and had a pint in the bar. He left without his hair.

Ziedins was the largest single fundraiser for the St. Baldrick’s event held at O’Neill’s. By the start of clipping, he had personally raised more than $3,000. The money goes to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and is used to fund research and treatment to fight childhood cancers.

“I used all avenues of raising money,” Ziedins said at the bar before losing his hair. “Emails, Facebook, asking, begging and pleading: It wasn’t really that hard, quite honestly. People are really willing to give to this organization.”

In the final 48 hours before the hair clipping, those fundraising efforts brought a large number of donations flowing in. Ziedins went from the second- to first-place fundraiser, with more than $1,000 in donations coming in on those last two days. The website remains open for more donations.

O’Neill’s has participated in the national event for the past four years, but this was the first time Ziedins offered his mane for the cause.

Ziedins’ mother, Mara Ziedins, and fiancée, Lauren Alessi, smiled and took pictures as Victor Lacanfora of Mane Street Salon fired up the clippers and took off Ziedins’ locks as his first “customer” of the event. Ten minutes later, Ziedins was sporting the bald look.

While this was the first time Ziedins went bald for a good cause, it wasn’t his first endeavor at charity. He has also dedicated his time and labor to help rebuild a church and summer camps in the Catskills. Currently, he works for Robik Glantz Builders constructing new units in Shelton’s Crescent Village.

Ziedins joked that he was glad the weather was turning warm with the prospect of spending a few weeks short on hair. “It’s a small sacrifice to make considering what any child facing cancer has to go through,” he said.