Scroll Down for the link to the 2017 UMPI Planet Head Day!
By: David Deschesne
Fort Fairfield Journal, March 2, 2016
Four local town managers were the V.I.P.s at this year's Planet Head day at the University of Maine, Presque Isle. Planet Head, now in its tenth year, is a fundraising event for the Caring Area Neighbors for Cancer Education and Recovery (C-A-N-C-E-R).
Having their heads shaved and painted with a planet of their choice were town managers: Jim Risner, Fort Fairfield; Jon Frederick, Mapleton; David Cyr, Mars Hill and Martin Puckett, Presque Isle.
C-A-N-C-E-R is an Aroostook County-based grassroots organization that assists cancer patients and their families with care packages, gifts, and emotional support. Planet Head Day is also part of a NASA-funded celebration of the New Horizons space mission to Pluto. The spacecraft passed the dwarf planet last June and is now headed for the Kuiper Belt where it should be visiting other objects in the future.
“It's great to see the other town managers part of it, to join all these other families. It's a highly emotional experience being part of this,” said Presque Isle city manager, Martin Puckett, who had his head shaved and painted with the planet Earth. “Seeing people who have cancer, seeing survivors and people who are currently going through cancer. My role here is to do some fundraising, trying to raise some awareness for the organization, getting my head shaved and being colored a planet for a day. That's a small price for this organization.
Jon Frederick, town manager of Mapleton had his head shaved and painted as the planet Mars, but kept his full beard. “The beard is going to stay. It's dyed pink in honor of my wife's aunt, great-aunt Cathy in Auburn, New York who recently underwent breast cancer surgery,” said Frederick. “We raised a lot of money and are very pleased with the effort to get this hair off.”
Fort Fairfield town manager, Jim Risner had his head shaved and painted with the planet Mercury. “My first thought was no, I'm not going to get my head shaved,” said Risner. “Then I learned Presque Isle city manager, Martin Puckett was going to get his head shaved and that made me more comfortable about participating. The cutting of my hair was a much nicer experience than 39 years ago when I entered boot camp. This is a great event, I think the managers raised quite a bit of money. It was a good time.”
David Cyr, town manager of Mars Hill also participated. “I haven't had my head shaved since fourth grade, but it's gone well today. I'm very pleased with the event,” said Cyr, who had the planet Uranus painted on his head. “They tell me it looks like Uranus; I've never been there so I have to take their word for it.”
Event co-organizer, Louise Cardone-Calabrese says that while all pledges haven't come in yet she's confident the organization will nearly reach its goal of $25,000.
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