QUINCY -- Jen Roberts and Racheal Raleigh began talking about shaving their heads a year ago after a marketing campaign they were working on gave them a close look at the struggles cancer patients must endure.
Both Quincy Medical Group employees left a makeshift stage on Quincy University's practice field with buzz cuts Saturday afternoon.
"This is to show others battling cancer now that we stand with them in solidarity," Roberts said.
Eighteen "buzzees" had their heads shaved during the Quincy Medical Group Healthcare Foundation's inaugural Buzz Off Cancer event. Each buzzee raised at least $500 over the weeks leading up to the event, and the efforts brought in about $20,000 for the foundation.
Buzzees were divided into four groups, and one group was shaved each hour over the course of the afternoon. Five stylists from Salon 420 volunteered their time to shave the buzzees. There was also live music, face painting, a bounce house and other vendors at the event.
Sue Hester recognized three of her oncology nurses in the group of buzzees. Having recently completed chemotherapy, Hester attended the event wearing a bandanna.
"I wouldn't voluntarily do it," she joked about losing her hair. "It's amazing that they're doing this. I can't believe the community has come together like this to support this cause."
All money raised through the Buzz Off Cancer event will go to the Quincy Medical Group Healthcare Foundation, which will then disperse it to help patients with nonmedication expenses such as electric and gas bills, groceries or wigs.
"Patients should never have to choose between groceries, making the mortgage payment, or getting treatment that could be lifesaving," Raleigh said.
Raleigh also donated the several inches of hair she had buzzed off to Wigs for Kids, an organization that provide hair replacement systems and support for children who have lost their hair because of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other treatments.
Roberts and Raleigh hope to turn Buzz Off Cancer into an annual fundraiser.