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Bald is Beautiful

February 3, 2015
On the day of my high school graduation – June 3, 1975 – after 12 long years of strict Catholic education and dress codes, I made a solemn vow to never cut my hair again. young Joe Next month – on Friday, March 13th – I am going to shave my head.  On purpose.  In public.  With a camera rolling. The thought alone is terrifying.  But posting this news here – even before discussing it with my wife (!?!?!?) – means there’s no turning back. Let’s hope the result doesn’t prove Samson-like and rob me of the diminishing mental and physical powers I still possess.  Even more, let’s hope that by being sheared like a sheep I can raise more than a few dollars for the most noble of causes – cancer research. I’ve been a long-time supporter of the event known as St. Baldrick’s Day – a fundraising campaign for cancer research where individuals collect pledges from folks for the promise to shave their heads as a way to honor the bravery of those battling the disease.  I’ve written checks in support of the head-shaving efforts of my friend and business colleague, Chuck Chamness, President and CEO of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.  Chuck’s son, Joey, was diagnosed with cancer years ago and just last week the now 18-year-old received a clean bill of health from his oncologist. Miracles happen. Every day. But sometimes those miracles require money.  And this year I decided to do more than write a check to support cancer research funding.  What’s that old joke about “involvement vs. commitment?”  When it comes to breakfast, the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed… And the timing could not have been better.  For one thing, Chuck and I are no longer just colleagues, we’re partners in a new “shared services” agreement between the Alliance and NAMIC that promises to deliver more and better services to members of both organizations.  Secondly, Chuck’s “Team Joey” head-shaving event will be hosted this year by…wait for it…a Knights of Columbus Lodge in North Indianapolis.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  And finally, my mother-in-law is duking it out with cancer right now and has it down for the count.  She packs quite a punch for an 84-year-old. So this all adds up to the transition from being “involved” in St. Baldrick’s Day, to making a “commitment” to it.  And I hope you, dear readers and fellow fraternalists, will support my commitment so that together we can making a meaningful contribution to cancer research. Here’s how you can support me… I’ll keep you posted on pledges and you can watch the head shaving right here…