St. Baldrick’s 2011

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This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to participate in a charity event–I mentioned it in a previous blog post, but for those of you who may be new readers, I’ll quickly recap.

A few weeks back I dediced to participlate in a fundraising event called “St. Balrdick’s Day.”  “Balrdick” is obviously a combination of the words “bald” and “St. Patrick”  – and on this day events are held all over the country where people raise money, donate, and then shave their heads nearly bald to raise awareness for and show solidarity with children who have lost their hair or their lives to childhood cancers.

I have been at the St. Baldrick’s events previously, but this was the first year I decided to do some serious fundraising.  My goal was to raise $10,000 by March 20th–and to do that I organized some of the best fitness pros in the world to donate workouts, which my subscribers could pick up if they donated as little as 15 bucks.

As far as I was concerned, this was a win-win-win – we all pitch in to help raise money for cancer research, you guys get some kick ass workouts, and the fit-pros get some exposure to new readers.

Now I SHOULD have started earlier, and the timing was a bit troublesome, as the fundraising would have to happen concurrent with the FPFL2 launch.  However, not to be detered by good sense, I plunged headlong into this.

AND I’m happy to report that in less than 4 weeks, we manages to raise $8,200 – and I was happy to kick in the rest on my own to bring us to the $10,000 mark.

This was a huge group effort and I couldn’t have done it without you.

Here is a video of me getting a little recognition at the event:

The presenter is John Zozarro, the owner of the Downtown Cafe in my hometown of Glen Cove, NY.  The Downtown is sort of the catch-all hangout spot in GC, simultaneously serving as a popular eatery, the quintessential neighborhood bar, and of course a great spot to hang out and watch a Jets game.

John (or Zozo, as he’s known) is a wonderful guy with a huge heart, and he poured that heart fully into this event.  He did a great job raising money and spreading awareness, as well as bringing the community together.

As Zozo mentioned in his speech, there are several dozen St. Baldrick’s events that take place in NYC (where I live), and while it would have been a bit more convenient for me to go to one of those, I felt compelled to ‘come home’ as it were, and donate in Glen Cove.  I grew up in this town, and while I love NYC, Glen Cove is home in many ways. 

If you’re ever in Glen Cove, please be sure to stop by the Downtown Cafe, say hi to John, and grab some food.  They make some great salads–just tell’em Roman sent you and they’ll throw some extra grilled chicken on there.

NOW, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

Here is a vide of me actually getting my head zipped to help fight childhood cancers.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, I am a bit of a pretty-boy so this was kind of a big deal for me. However, I’ve been assured I don’t look completely terrible.

Not to mention I’ll now save 10 minutes every day, since I don’t need to worry about my hair–plus countless dollars on my high-end hair products.

Out of interest, my lovely locks are being shorn by my friend Brian Basile, owner of Stong Island Styles.  Brian is actually well known in the barber community (yes, they have a community), and has cut hair for a number of celebrities ranging from people I can’t legally mention all the way to “the Situation” from the Jersey Shore.  Brian’s shop in Glen Cove has been featured everywhere from local news to haircutting magazines–and now fitness blogs.

To steal a bit of local barber parlance, Brian “buzzed me up nice” and made sure not to cut my ears off.  If you’re on the island and into the barber scene, check out Brian’s shop.


I know I’ve asked you to watch a few videos already, but I just wanted to do one more.  Just a quick “thank you” video for everyone who donated.

So, if you’d still like to help out (and I hope you do) and want access to the awesome package we’ve put together, just click the donate button and give just 15 bucks–100% of which will fund research to fight childhood cancers.

If you have donated, I cannot thank you enough.  You’re incredible and I appreciate you so much. 

Thanks for reading and watching, and I’ll hit you guys with some awesome fitness info later on!


PS – Leave some love in the comments section!

About the Author

John Romaniello is a level 70 orc wizard who spends his days lifting heavy shit and his nights fighting crime. When not doing that, he serves as the Chief Bro King of the Roman Empire and Executive Editor here on RFS. You can read his articles here, and rants on Facebook.

Comments for This Entry

  • Rachel

    Hey Roman, You already know I think you are totally awesome. You are also a pretty nice guy to boot :) donated $30, sorry it is a little late (but hey better late than never). xx

    March 30, 2011 at 5:21 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Thanks for the kind words man, I appreciate it. And thank you for finding your way over from Joel's blog. Now, as to your question...I donate about every 60 days when I'm able (unfortunately, recent tattoos preclude me from doing so at the moment), so I feel your pain. The way I have handled it was to always donate on a friday. I would workout, then go right to the donation center. Immediately after donating I'd have a sugary shake (and often a full cheat day). Then I would take off from the gym on saturday, then do cardio sunday. Seems to help a lot!

    March 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Alexander - thanks for commenting and sharing a bit. I'm sorry to hear that you had to go through chemo. I hope you're feeling better, and seriously, fuck cancer! We'll beat this thing for sure. Keep up the fight, and let us know how we can help! Roman

    March 28, 2011 at 1:08 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Thanks Jim - can't wait to keep giving back.

    March 28, 2011 at 1:07 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Thanks Kevin! It was great to be able to do something awesome in Glen Cove, and I appreciate the coverage and exposure. Also, thank you for the PDF! Roman

    March 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm

  • John Romaniello

    thanks, Cindy! I appreciate it!

    March 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Thanks so much, jackal. I hope the money helps out, and I look forward to raising even more next year. Keep a look out for that!

    March 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm

  • John Romaniello

    LOL I know it was atrocious! I'll be sure not to rock the skullet look ;) Thanks for commenting!

    March 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Thanks Matt, your support helped a lot. Really. Couldn't have done it without you guys!

    March 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Haha I could do that. If my hair actually starts falling out, I could always shave and grow a goatee, WWE style.

    March 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm

  • John Romaniello

    Hey Tom, Thanks so much for stopping by and the kind words, my friend. I appreciate you saying so and TRULY thank you. I hope that whatever positivity can be gleaned from this example will be paid forward, and that other fit pros will get more involved in charity =)

    March 28, 2011 at 1:01 pm

  • Jorma

    Roman! [Basking in your rays of awesomeness!] Great work! And the q-ball look isn't all that bad. I started following your blog and news letters a little while ago (I got hooked up through Joel Marion) and I thought to myself, "This guy seems pretty alright." Then I saw the Balrick's stunt and I was like, "wow! he really is awesome!" That sort of lead me to a question that I have. Loosely related, you'll see. I'm a frequent blood donor. I do whole blood donations about every 8 weeks. It feels great on one hand but it kills me in the gym for days and days. I don't know if you've had to coach anyone through that sort of thing but if you have any recommendations for recovery or alternate routines to stay competitive for a few days while the body recovers that would be awesome.

    March 28, 2011 at 11:53 am

  • Cindy

    Great job! Great look! Congratulations for the support you received and shared in supporting this worthwhile cause!

    March 26, 2011 at 12:39 am

  • Cindy

    Great job! Great look! Congratulations on the support you received and shared with this very worthwhile cause!

    March 26, 2011 at 12:38 am

  • Tom

    John: Your are absolutely right, you will save a huge amount from not having to buy hair products, lol :) On a serious note, it's nice to see you giving back. I told someone the other day and most of my clients, the health and fitness thing is great, but having BALANCE in our life and giving back to others that need help is where it's at and brings real meaning to our life. Many folks out there in our industry get consumed with making money or blowing up their biz that they forget the true meaning of life and truly loving others and giving back. We are all guilty at times of getting distracted in life. So many times we get caught up in trivial things (i.e. work, money, etc..) that we forget that God wants us to show love in a multitude of ways and to help those that are less fortunate or that need support for causes such as fighting cancer. Once again man, THANK YOU. It's nice to see folks like yourself in the health and fitness industry doing a great thing such as this. It's been a while since I have emailed or responded on your blog. I trully see you are not like many of the guys in or around your inner circle, or in the fitness industry in general. You did an awesome thing here John. Maybe those folks that are all about trying to blow up in the fitness industry and you come in contact with will see you as an example to follow. Take care and keep being you are really being example for others to follow dude. Regards, Tom

    March 25, 2011 at 9:58 pm

  • jackal

    Roman, you are truly heaven sent.. What you have done is fantastic & I'm sure many children are going to benefit from all your hard work. Well done to you and all who helped raise such a wonderfull amount of money... God Bless You xx

    March 24, 2011 at 2:01 pm

  • Alexander

    Hell yes!! F*** cancer!!! Every little bit helps us getting a little closer to murdering it for good! thanks a million Roman and everyone for donating! I too did the bald thing this year but more on the receiving end of things... Chemo is a bitch but it works

    March 24, 2011 at 11:29 am

  • Per

    You only spent 10 mins on your hair? I'd have guessed at least 20 but maybe you have your routine in order as well. Agree with some of the others, don't worry, the shaved look works for you.

    March 24, 2011 at 4:27 am

  • Kevin Horton

    John, Congrats on raising 10K St. Baldrick's event, your hometown is proud of you! The information brought me to your site and I'm very impressed! We did a feature story on your donation in the Gold Coast Gazette- send me an e-mail and I'll send you a pdf of the feature. All the best- keep up the good work!!!

    March 24, 2011 at 12:00 am

  • Nate Green

    I just wish I stuck around for that. :)

    March 23, 2011 at 11:37 pm

  • mary

    Your new look rocks!!! We have a head shaving event, for cancer, at where I work. This year we donated $2490.00 to Cancer research.

    March 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm

  • Mike

    You are a top Bloke (Man) Roman. Thank you for your efforts mate. Mike (UK)

    March 23, 2011 at 3:42 pm

  • Lauren

    You look good bald! ;) I like it better!

    March 23, 2011 at 3:36 pm

  • Marty

    Great job Roman. I want a Really Fucking Special (RFS) shirt.

    March 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm

  • Bertie

    Great cause to support Roman! Welcome to the "bald" club for cancer... We had our version in South Africa 2 weeks ago - "Shavathon for CANSA" - and I had my head shaved too!!!! It grows back much faster than you think!!!!

    March 23, 2011 at 12:40 pm

  • James

    Awesome! You should keep the baldy. Chicks dig it. Trust me, lol.

    March 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm

  • Rachel

    Roman - nice pate! This is an awesome thing you did for a community of people needing so much support. I didn't find out about it until it was too late, but I'll contribute now that I know. God bless you for giving back. -Rachel

    March 23, 2011 at 12:13 pm

  • Jim Labadie

    Great stuff, Roman!

    March 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm

  • Sue

    OMG, before he shaved off the sides you looked awful. If you do go bald on the top, don't grow the sides out long. You look pretty tough with no hair now.

    March 23, 2011 at 11:56 am

  • Shaun

    You are a handsome guy and nothing to worry about with that bald head. Bald is beautiful in so many ways! Thanks for being such a great guy and so true to yourself-it comes out in everything you do!

    March 23, 2011 at 11:52 am

  • Alex

    Great to see this effort for a good cause. Keep up the good work.

    March 23, 2011 at 11:49 am

  • Glenn

    Hey John, good going! At the least your head now matches your biceps! Just sent you $15, better late than never. Such a worthy cause, sorry I couldn’t afford more at the present time. Glenn.

    March 23, 2011 at 11:24 am

  • Frankie

    I do enjoy your new look! Pretty sexy! And all for a great cause!

    March 23, 2011 at 11:02 am

  • Matt Kittoe

    You rock the shaved head better than most, I've gotta say. You're a hell of a guy, Roman, and I appreciated the chance to help you out with this.

    March 21, 2011 at 10:57 pm

  • Mike

    Great cause man! Good work....gotta rock the scruff now dude...balance it out.

    March 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm

  • Paul McCloskey

    Nice job! So great you were able to bring so many people together to raise that much in a month. Having lost a number of close friends and relatives to cancer, it means a lot to see these efforts helping those in need. Thank you!

    March 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm

  • Marcus

    Awesome work youve done here roman. i will try and send some money over in the end of the week, The new style does fit you man, But your old curls were awesome :D, I guess they grow out again :)

    March 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm

  • John Romaniello

    I appreciate the support, guys! I forgot how cold it is with a shaved head. Good thing summer's comin'!

    March 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm

  • Ruben

    Vin Diesel hacked your blog, Roman! ^^ Nice job!

    March 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm

  • Roan

    Great job man! You threw in a lot of money. Don't worry, bald does look bad(-ass). See what I did there? It feels good we can help people together. :) Yay for awesomeness!

    March 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm

  • Jameson Wolff

    Awesome man, you look bad ass and bigger now. Good look cheers

    March 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm

  • Tony Roe

    This is really awesome, Roman! I'm proud to have been able to help out with the effort, and I'd like to congratulate you and everyone else on making the $10,000 mark! I think you look pretty natural with the buzz look, but I'm biased. ;) -Tony

    March 21, 2011 at 1:21 pm

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