NORTH CANTON Jackson Local Schools and North Canton City Schools raised more than $222,841 for St. Baldrick’s and childhood cancer research.

For the past several years, the two districts have been involved in a friendly competition for raising the most money each year. Superintendents of both schools along with other administrators, teachers and students from both districts got their heads shaved to help raise money.

The St. Baldrick’s event is in its 18th year in Stark County. Nan Foltz and her sister, Sue Stevenson, started the fundraiser. Foltz’s daughter, Abbey, was a freshman at GlenOak High School when she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (tumors on the bone) on her right tibia.

Abbey battled for four years through treatments, surgeries and a recurring brain tumor. She graduated high school and completed her first year of college at The Ohio State University. She passed away at her home on Aug. 3, 2000.

“This event here in North Canton is ranked as the third top fundraiser for St. Baldrick’s in the world,” said Jamie Lenhart, a committee coordinator. “We have 618 shavees scheduled and we are taking walk ins. We’ve raised $291,424 and the day is only just starting. The competition between Jackson and North Canton schools has been a big help. Jackson has won the top spot for the past four or five years, but North Canton is in the lead right now. Really, nobody loses in the competition because the kids win. We like to say this event is put on by the kids for the kids.”

Lenhart said that 75 percent of the people getting their heads shaved are under the age of 18. The shavers came from salons and barbershops all over Stark County. Stylists from Cost Cutter, barbers from Ianni Barbershop in Perry Township, Hairs to You in Canton and Imagery Designs for Hair were just a few of the shavers.

Both Jackson Superintendent Christopher DiLoreto and North Canton Superintendent Jeff Wendorf took to the stage to get their heads shaved. Hoover High School’s mascot (a Viking) shaved Wendorf’s head and Luke Lehman from Jackson Memorial Middle School shaved DiLoreto’s head.

Lehman has had his head shaved for nine years, starting when he was only three years old. His mother, Teresa, is a stylist at Tony Donahue’s, and she shaved his head this year along with helping with DiLoreto. Raising money for kids has become a multiple task for DiLoreto who just took a dip in the icy waters at Lake Cable in early February to help raise money for kids through education.

"Mr. DiLoreto said I could shave his head because I’ve had mine shaved so many times,” said Luke Lehman.

There was a packed house all day long at the North Canton Racquet Club for the event as families came out to support their family members getting shaved and to help raise the much need funds for childhood cancer research.