SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

August 29, 2013

Class president's close shave pays off

BEVERLY — Maddie Thomas is the junior class president and a member of the National Art Honor Society, swim team and stage crew at Beverly High School.

She’s also bald as a bowling ball — and for a great reason.

Thomas had all her hair cut off last weekend — 19 inches, to be exact — to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a charity committed to finding cures for childhood cancer.

She dedicated the head shave to her best friend, Taylor Carlson of Beverly, whose father, longtime Salem News employee Jimmy Carlson, died of cancer last year.

Thomas said Carlson was a “second dad” to her and she was devastated by his death.

“Watching my (practically) sister go through that and being unable to help was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” Thomas wrote in an email. “I’m raising money for children’s cancer because I would be honored to lower the chance of another family going through a similar situation.”

The head-shaving took place at the New Hampshire Roller Derby in Manchester, N.H. Thomas raised $1,587, the most of the 42 participants.

You can still donate at stbaldricks.org.

All for Riley

The Riley Rocks Family Carnival really rocked.

The event, organized by volunteers to raise money to support the family of 6-year-old Riley Fessenden, drew hundreds of people to the high school last Sunday and raised more than $45,000, according to organizers.

The money will help pay the medical expenses for Riley, a Beverly girl who has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer of the nasal cavity.

On the road

The Beverly Bookmobile still gets the honor of most recognized vehicle in the city. But the new Beverly Bootstraps van might not be far behind.

The refrigerated vehicle allows Bootstraps to transport fresh produce to its “mobile markets” around the city and make large pickups at food banks and food drives.

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