Damariscotta Fire Chief John Roberts’ first haircut in 2018 raised more than $1,400 for the Central Lincoln County Ambulance Service.
For the past three weeks, Roberts has been accepting donations for the ambulance service, which provides emergency medical services to the towns of Alna, Bremen, Bristol, Damariscotta, Jefferson, Newcastle, and Nobleboro. Whichever individual or group gave the most would win the right to shave Roberts’ head.
The shearing took place during a community event at Louis Doe Home Center in Newcastle on Saturday, May 19. Sandcastle Entertainment donated a bounce house and dunk tank for the festivities, while Mark Doe provided hot dogs and sodas for a donation to CLC Ambulance.
Members of the Massasoit Engine Co. and the Mitkus and Pease families volunteered throughout the event. Rob and Megan Hyson, of Medomak Construction, took turns in the dunk tank. Rob Hyson also volunteers as a Bremen firefighter, while Megan Hyson works for Lincoln County Publishing Co.
With donations accepted throughout the event, the total amount raised climbed to $1,400 when it came time for Roberts to jump in the barber’s chair. There was a tie between the highest donors, as Heather Hartford and the combined donations from Josh and Christina Pinkham and Dan and Ann Pinkham totaled $220 each.
The clippers ultimately went to Hartford, who, just the previous week, saw her Damariscotta home sustain extensive damage due to a fire. As she was began shaving Roberts’ head, Hartford spoke about the “truly amazing” responders who helped on the scene.
“They were kind, helpful, and did everything they could,” Hartford said. “I can’t say enough about the EMS and the fire department. I just wanted to give back.”
The haircut got off to a rough start, as both pairs of clippers “weren’t up to the challenge” of cutting through Roberts’ mane, he said. After a little over 10 minutes, Hartford cut off all of Roberts’ hair, with the exception of a tiny ponytail at the back of his neck.
Kristen Roberts, Roberts’ wife, trimmed off the “rat tail” before the event concluded.
Having never been without hair, Roberts said he is still getting used to being bald and the sensations that come with it. “It’s really weird when it rains,” he said.
While he’s unsure if he will grow out his hair for another fundraiser in the future, Roberts said he hopes to find another unique idea to help benefit emergency services.
“Fundraisers that benefit emergency services benefit all of us,” Roberts said.
Donations can still be sent to the Central Lincoln County Ambulance Fund at P.O. Box 373, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Central Lincoln County Ambulance Service is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and all donations are tax-deductible.