Sacramento Bee


  Date: Friday, December 31, 2010

In recent years, tens of thousands of people have been shorn for charity.
St. Baldrick's does it for medical research. Locks of Love has done it to provide hairpieces for those with cancer.

Roni Stroud has upped the ante. Stroud went bald Thursday to raise money for the Kiwanis Family House in Sacramento, but her commitment goes beyond that.
She will model her Full Britney in front of millions of people Saturday - the live and television viewers of the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Stroud, president of the Folsom Lake Kiwanis Club (motto: "The Best Club by a Dam Site"), will ride the annual Kiwanis float in the parade - no hat, no wig. Parade organizers don't know whether she's the first bald woman to go uncovered in the parade, but they couldn't remember any others.

For $2,000 Stroud could have bought a seat on the Kiwanis float, but she has a soft spot in her heart for the Family House - the pet project of Kiwanis in the Sacramento area. Her dilemma, she said, was: "I could ride the float or give it to the house."

Then she thought of Airyanna Cain. When Airyanna was 9 years old, her family had come from Anderson, near Redding, and stayed at the house while Airyanna underwent leukemia treatments at UC Davis Medical Center. The house is kind of an unsung Ronald McDonald House, run almost entirely on local donations and volunteers.

When Stroud thought of Cain, she had a brainstorm. She would offer to shave her head if people voted for her to do so - at $10 a vote. It would, she hoped, raise more than $2,000. In the end, the 500 no-shave votes (and the $5,000 they raised) were dwarfed by shave-it votes.

Because a fellow Kiwanis club in Grass Valley came up with about $2,500, Stroud traveled there Thursday from her El Dorado Hills home to be shaved. Facing about as many cameras as a White House press conference - though mostly point-and-shoots - Stroud sat down in the courtyard of Kane's Restaurant.

Stylist Lori Dever - who'd never before sheared off a healthy woman's full head of hair - took it off, hank by hank, to catcalls and lame jokes. "You'll save on shampoo," called one of the assembled Kiwanis, who came from Folsom, Sacramento, West Sacramento, Rocklin and other clubs.What she saves on shampoo, she may spend on wigs - which she figures she'll wear for about a year while her hair grows back.

She'll have a lasting souvenir of the experience, though. She plans to have a rose (for the parade) and a hummingbird (one of the float motifs) tattooed on the back of her neck, where the hair will grow over it.

The Family House - for families with kids in treatment at UC Davis Medical Center - will get at least $15,000 from Stroud's effort. And one more bonus: Though she's more publicity shy than Stroud, Cain, now 18, will ride the float too, but with a full head of hair.

There's more we could say, but in the spirit of Stroud's stunt, we'll cut this short.

Those who wish to donate to the Kiwanis Family House in Sacramento can find information at or look up Locks for the House on Facebook.

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