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COURTESY RACHEL KEMBLE PHOTOGRAPHY | ST. BALDRICK'S FOUNDATION Austin, right, was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms tumor in July 2007. His father Mark, middle, and older brother Braedan, left, shave in solidarity with him. Austin joined them in March 2011. He is one of five St. Baldrick's Foundation 2012 Ambassador Kids.

It’s like a St. Patrick’s Day party with a twist.

A handful of local Irish pubs are kicking off March with events benefitting the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which raises money for childhood cancer research.

This year, Nine Fine Irishmen at New York-New York, McMullan’s Irish Pub and Ri Ra The Irish Pub at Mandalay Bay will be hosting St. Baldrick’s Day events March 3.

Austin, right, was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms tumor in July 2007. His father Mark, middle, and older brother Braedan, left, shave in solidarity with him. Austin joined them in March 2011. He is one of five St. Baldrick’s Foundation 2012 Ambassador Kids.

In 2000, when reinsurance executives John Bender, Tim Kenny and Enda McDonnell shaved heads at their St. Patrick’s Day party to raise money for childhood cancer research, there were no events like it. The trio named their event St. Baldrick’s Day, and gradually the head-shaving-for-charity idea caught on. Last year, there were more than 1,000 St. Baldrick’s Day events. Each year, that number increases by 20 percent, said Mariela Castillo, the foundation’s director of special events.

Volunteers sign up on the foundation’s website to host events, like Michael Kennedy, executive director of food and beverage at New York-New York. He brought the event to Nine Fine Irishmen in 2010. The restaurant has raised about $125,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and Kennedy expects to add another $100,000 to that total this year.

Since 2007, St. Baldrick’s Day events in the greater Las Vegas area have raised more than $1.5 million for the foundation.

For a minimum donation of $50, volunteers can shave their heads and participate in the St. Baldrick’s Day festivities at Nine Fine Irishmen from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. on March 3.

Click on the following link for more information about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

Source:Caitlin McGarry, lvbusinesspress.com

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