Verona's J.T.'s Barber Shop Supports Cancer Research
Owner John Terzo has participated in St. Baldrick's head-shaving events since 2006.
For years John Terzo, owner of J.T.'s Barber Shop in Verona, has been providing excellent haircuts for his customers, but no cut has been more meaningful than his buzz cuts for children's cancer research.
In 2006, loyal customer and event coordinator Kevin Kinney came in for a trim and told Terzo about St. Baldrick's Cancer Research Benefit and Kinney has been buzzing heads ever since.
The St. Baldrick's Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.
The foundation hosts head-shaving events all over the world so people can show their support by shaving their heads voluntarily, and inspiring friends and family to donate money to support childhood cancer research.
“We raise money for children's cancer research,” Terzo said. “By shaving heads it symbolizes a child going through chemotherapy and we can identify with them.”
The first event Terzo participated in happened on the Seton Hall athletic field after a game against Rutgers University in 2006. Since then the event has been held every year at The Shillelagh Club in West Orange.
As the head barber shop, J.T.'s shaved more than 80 heads and raised as much as $85,000 in a single event. Their goal is to reach $100,000 in donations for a single event.
Each haircut is free and “shavees” seek out sponsors to donate to the St. Baldrick's Foundation.
“Its for an excellent cause,” said Terzo. “We are trying to get to the bottom of this and give as many treatments as we can while promoting the research to stop this disease as a whole.”
“It feels excellent to be a part of this,” he said. “Every year there are one or two kids locally who directly benefit from the money from St. Baldrick's.”
The events truly hits home for Terzo who knows at least one local child who has been battling the disease.
“He's a really good kid and I'm glad to see him in remission,” said Terzo. “To go through cancer and chemo is one of the toughest roads a kid can ever endure.”
The next St. Baldrick head-shaving event will be held Sept. 15 from 3 to 9 p.m. at The Shillelagh Club in West Orange.
In addition to participating in St. Baldrick's events Terzo is a member of the Verona Chamber of Commerce as well as Verona UNICO, sponsors a local youth baseball team, the J.T. Barber Shop Royals and donates to local Tricky trays, schools and different programs.
“As a community we all work together to make this a better place to live and everyone looks out for each other,” he said. “Its small town USA, its what our country was built on.”
J.T.'s Barber Shop is located at 536 Bloomfield Ave. in Verona. Their hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
For more information on the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, click here.