Author: Kayley Mendenhall, 3/25/2014 12:00:00 AM
It all started at the Bond Street Barber Shop.
Jim Lanier, a building specialist in the Facilities department at St. Charles Bend, was in for his regular trim when the barber started telling him about 8-year-old Mason Procknow. The boy was born deaf and although he has a cochlear implant that helps him hear, he needs additional equipment to be able to continue playing baseball. He has a difficult time hearing his coach when the wind blows or the crowd makes too much noise. The barbershop is holding a fundraiser for Mason on April 13 and plans to raise money through haircuts, barbecue and beer.
Lanier, who said he spent his youth on the baseball field, was touched by the story. He made himself an appointment at the barber shop to support the cause on April 13, but he also began thinking about what more he could do.
"I can't imagine what it would have been like if I couldn't have played ball," Lanier said.
He started talking to his co-workers about Mason and they came up with a plan. If Lanier would have his head shaved completely bald and lose his mustache at the April 13 appointment, his co-worker Mike Magnusson, who is already bald, said he would wear a wig to work for a week.
The two plan to ask caregivers throughout St. Charles for donations to support Mason while they show-off their new hairdos.
"The people at St. Charles really care about the community," Lanier said. "This will be a fun way for us to raise some money and help Mason."
When Casey Zampelli, a St. Charles insurance collector and long-time Little League umpire, heard about Lanier and Magnusson's plan, he decided to join their efforts. Zampelli is selling raffle tickets for $1 each to raise funds for Mason as well. The winner of the raffle, which he will draw on April 14, will get to shave Zampelli’s head and the proceeds will go to support Mason.
"I shave my head before every season, because it helps with keeping me cool with all the gear I wear during games,” Zampelli said. “So what better way to help this young Little Leaguer and get ready for the upcoming season?"
For more information, or to make a donation, contact Lanier at firstname.lastname@example.org or Zampelli at email@example.com. The deadline to donate is April 11. A fund has also been set up in Mason Procknow’s name at Bank of the Cascades.