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Chief Shaves Head For Good Cause


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  • Chief Shaves Head For Good Cause


    FLAGLER COUNTY, FL -- Chief Deputy Rick Look from the Flagler County Sheriff's Office is bald. But, by choice and the choice is for a good cause.

    It was to raise money for one of his own.

    It was nearly a year ago that Deputy Roger Spire's son Braeden Tate was born.

    Braeden seemed like every other newborn until we noticed that he was not tracking objects properly with his eyes as a baby his age should be doing.

    At four and a half months he was diagnosed with a rare condition called Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (ONH).

    The good news for Braeden is that recently a treatment has become available in China.

    The treatment is expensive and his family is hoping to raise $60,000 to cover the costs of the treatment.

    That is where Chief Look stepped in. He shaved both his head and his mustache to raise money for the family.

    He's pretty funny about the whole thing.

    Through out the week people are sending him gag gifts -- like clown wigs and pictures of Kojak. Someone sent him a photo of himself with a super-imposed bald head as well.

    Shave and a haircut raises nearly $10,000

    Sheriff's Office pulls together to help baby see

    Staff Writer

    PALM COAST -- The fat-cheeked kid with searching blue eyes grasped a tuft of drifting gray hair and brought it to his mouth in true toddler style.

    The little one in Rick Look's lap wouldn't have known it, but Flagler County's chief deputy sheriff was paying the price Tuesday so Braeden Spires might see: ridding himself of a 41-year-old fluffy hairdo, fondly called the Buttafuoco.

    "It's probably the only asset I've got," said Look, 59, a Vietnam veteran. "Old guys like me who got a head of hair, they like their hair."

    Still, Look put his signature 'do on the chopping block Aug. 27, challenging deputies to raise $1,000 in three days for 9-month-old Braeden, the son of Deputy Roger Spires, who needs a corrective operation so he can see.

    They raised $1,400 for good measure. Another 30 followed Look's example Tuesday, raising nearly $10,000 in donations from the mass public shearing at James Holland Park.

    "He's just a beautiful baby and your heart just breaks that he can't see," Look said.

    Less than five months after his December 2007 birth, Braeden was diagnosed with optic nerve hypoplasia, where the nerve that transmits vision signals to the brain is small or underdeveloped.

    The active, smiling babe with startlingly clear, slightly crossed eyes can see shadows and close objects, but not much else, said his mother, Christine Spires.

    Since the Spires kicked off their fundraising to get Braeden to China for stem cell treatment by April, they've managed to raise $20,000. And they're not daunted by their $60,000 target.

    "It's amazing the support we've gotten from the community, especially the Sheriff's Office," Roger Spires said. "It's kind of like everyone is pulling together; to me it's family."

    They plan to host a spaghetti dinner Sunday at the Switzerland Community Church in St. Johns, with an 80-mile poker run coming up Oct. 26.

    Surrounded by family, local law enforcement and officials from St. Johns and Bunnell, Look's hair was gone in minutes. And apparently so was his anticipated humiliation.

    "I feel great. It's all about this kid right here," said a bald Look, smelling faintly of raspberry shaving cream while Braeden squirmed in his arms. "This? This'll grow back."

    Donations can be made at any Wachovia Bank to the Blue Knights Motorcycle Club Braeden Spires Fund. For more information, visit helpbraedensee.com.

    Last edited by ble0503; 09-17-2008, 05:32 PM.

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