SHERMAN - Did you "hair" the news? Sherman Mayor John Patterson plans to put his head on the line to raise money for cancer care and for the village.
Patterson will let his hair grow throughout the coming year without even a trim. Then, on Aug. 2, on Main Street after the Sherman Day parade, it will all be shaved off, right down to the scalp. The fundraising event has been dubbed the "Shave The Mayor" project.
Patterson came up with the idea in September when the Sherman Village Council was reviewing the success of this year's Sherman Day Celebration. He said he hopes to raise at least $2,500 which will be split between the Sherman Day Committee and the Roswell Park Cancer Research Center.
Sherman Mayor John Patterson will grow his hair throughout the year and have it publically shaved off to raise money for cancer care and for the village. Each month, The Republican will post another picture to measure his hair growth as the year progresses.
Photo by David Prenatt
During the year, tickets will be sold for a chance to hold the clippers and cut off a swath of the mayor's hair. Every donation of $5 will secure a ticket in the donor's name. All of the tickets will be recorded and placed in a drum and results will be posted each month.
After the parade, the mayor will be seated on the corner of Main and Miller streets. Winners will be drawn one by one to give the mayor a "buzz." Once all of the locks have fallen, the opportunity to shave his head to the scalp will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
The mayor said he will enjoy the process of growing his hair only to have it publically cut off in front of the Sherman Day crowd. "I think I'm going to have as much fun with this as whoever pulls the winning ticket will have," he said.
Patterson taught school in Sherman for 33 years from 1966-99. "More than 1,100 kids went through my class.
"I hope one of them will be able to come back and 'get even with Big John," he said.
This is not the first time Patterson has had his head shaved.
He recalled the time in 1964 when his brother came home from the Navy and announced that he was going to be married. Patterson bet his father that he could get his brother to change his mind. The loser would have to get his head shaved.
The marriage went on as planned. "Right after the reception, my father said: 'Guess where we are going.' And off we went to the barber," he said. "I was a sophomore in college at Edinboro and 'bald' was not in vogue at the time. It took about seven months before it grew back in."