Home News Batavia barber’s 24-hour haircutting fundraiser going strong

Batavia barber’s 24-hour haircutting fundraiser going strong

11
0


For Tim Casey of Geneva, getting a regular haircut isn’t an unusual thing, but the goal of his latest shearing was to help someone else.

“I started coming to this event in 2004 or so. it’s been 20 years,” Casey said as he stood outside the Foltos Tonsorial Parlor in Batavia on Friday during its annual Chop Around the Clock fundraising event. “It’s always a good event and does so much for the community and it’s fun … I love coming down here.”

Beginning at 4 p.m. Friday and running through 4 p.m. Saturday, Craig Foltos, 71, owner of the barber shop at 7 E. Wilson St., again offered a 24-hour, non-stop haircutting party, a tradition that began 33 years ago.

The annual, iconic fundraiser has steadily grown over the decades and has raised nearly $400,000 for Ronald McDonald’s Children’s Charities, a feat that even Foltos says has surpassed his expectations.

“This has gone far beyond what I thought would happen,” he said. “It has helped me develop as a person far more than I ever thought, and I enjoy seeing the people that are regulars and show up every year to help out. It’s been far better than I ever anticipated.”

The event began, he said, after realizing his own future appeared to be fairly secure.

“I was at a place in my life where I could see that things were going to be good and I thought – how could I help somebody else because, maybe, I’ve been pretty fortunate to get to this point,” Foltos said a few days before the event. “I was watching the ‘Dick Van Dyke Show’ and they had that bit where he stayed up all night on a radio show and I said, ‘Hey, what if stayed up all night cutting hair?’”

Casey noted the iconic nature of the fundraiser “is what draws people and when I’ve brought people here they just think it’s terrific.”

The event again included food giveaways including hot dogs and tacos, music and hundreds of donated items that were raffled off.

Foltos was aided by two women who work with him who he said would be taking shifts giving haircuts along with him during the event.

Chris Bowers of Sandwich said she has worked with Foltos for 33 years and has been to all of the Chop Around the Clock events.

“I look forward to seeing Craig do something nice for the community and all the people that get involved every year,” she said. “There’s always good people and good food.”

Steve Schoeling of North Aurora said he has come to a number of Chop Around the Clock events, electing to get a haircut as well as donating food for the event.

Steve Schoeling of North Aurora, a regular customer at Foltos Tonsorial Parlor in Batavia, relaxes on Friday at the 33rd annual Chop Around the Clock fundraising event at the barber shop. (David Sharos / For The Beacon-News)
Steve Schoeling of North Aurora, a regular customer at Foltos Tonsorial Parlor in Batavia, relaxes on Friday at the 33rd annual Chop Around the Clock fundraising event at the barber shop. (David Sharos / For The Beacon-News)

“Last year it was chili and the year before it was pulled pork shoulder so it’s whatever he (Foltos) wants,” Schoeling said Friday afternoon after the event officially started. “I was a culinary student who graduated about 15 years ago and was a personal chef so I just like to use my skill sets to help out. I’ve been coming here the past 12 years or so as a customer. I love coming here ever since I found the place.”

The late-night hours during the 24-hour event have produced some humorous moments over the years, Foltos said, “once the restaurants and the bars close down.”

“At midnight some years it’s just packed with people or there are others that like coming here and they’ll just come late,” he said. “You don’t have to twist somebody’s arm to eat chocolate. For some people, coming down here is their chocolate. They’ll come down here and laugh. But there are some that stop in and perhaps were overserved and got their head shaved and wonder the next morning what they did.”

The 33rd annual Chop Around the Clock fundraiser was held from 4 p.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Saturday at Foltos Tonsorial Parlor in Batavia. (David Sharos / For The Beacon-News)
The 33rd annual Chop Around the Clock fundraiser was held from 4 p.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Saturday at Foltos Tonsorial Parlor in Batavia. (David Sharos / For The Beacon-News)

Foltos said along with raising money for a good cause, the annual event is also a way to reconnect with people and hopefully encourage them to act in a way that helps others.

“First, I enjoy the friends that show up every year but I hope that, in some place in somebody’s life they’ll go, ‘I remember that guy that did this and I can do this,’” he said. “If we don’t all chip in then it all just goes away. I hope it inspires people.”

David Sharos is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here