Butler County Times Gazette
  • Fire Department offers pancakes and a haircut

  • Event benefits childhood cancer research.
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  • Normally, fixing pancakes and getting a hair cut at the same time is not a good idea. Pratt firefighters are going to do just that on Saturday and help raise funds for childhood cancer research at the same time.
    The pancakes are a tradition for the department with all the proceeds going to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for childhood cancer research.
    The head shaving is also for St. Baldrick’s as a sign of support for cancer victims.
    The event is open to the public and scheduled from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 22 at the Pratt Fire Station in the 200 block of South Jackson. A free will offering will be taken at the door.
    This year’s event takes on a special meaning for Pratt firefighters. Firefighter Doug Ray has a three-year-old cousin Sydney who was diagnosed with leukemia in the middle of February. She is doing well and is taking the last of her treatments.
    Each year the department chooses a child to honor and sponsor so this year is special for the team, Adams said.
    The fire department gets donations for the event from Pratt businesses so all the proceeds go to cancer research. Walmart, Alco, Dollar General and Dillons have all made donations this year.
    Local barber Blake Bolen and hair stylist Kristina Howell have offered their services to do the hair cutting. So far, 15 firefighters have volunteered to have their heads shaved.
    This year’s event will be just a bit different than last year. The pancake feed and the head shaving will happen at the same time with firefighters rotating out of the serving and cooking line to the hair cutting area and then back to fixing pancakes.
    Last year, it took so long to get all the hair shaving done after the pancake feed that the firefighters decided to have both running at the same time.
    Firefighters are not the only ones who can get their heads shaved. It is open for anyone who wants to show support for cancer victims.
    “Anyone can sign up. It doesn’t cost a thing,” Adams said.
    Pratt firefighters got involved with the program five years ago when they traveled to Wichita to take part in an event with the Fraternal Order of Leatherhead Society, said Pratt firefighter Mike Adams.
    The firefighters enjoyed the event so much they went back the next year. But so many Pratt firefighters wanted to get involved that it made it impractical to travel to Wichita so they decided to start a chapter here and host their own event. This is the third year the event will be held in Pratt, Adams said.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Pratt Fire Department is also in competition with the Wichita Fire Department to see who can raise the most money.
    Pratt does very well and has raised as much money as Wichita in the past. This speaks well for our community, said Pratt Firefighter Eric Welch.
    Hosting the event gives the firefighters an opportunity to do something that doesn’t involve rushing to a fire but still helping someone in need.
    “This is good for us. It lets us relax and enjoy helping someone,” Adams said.
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