• September 19, 2014

Bell County Dogmen Motorcycle Club host childhood cancer research fundraiser

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Posted: Friday, April 4, 2014 4:30 am

Most kids shy away from getting their haircut, but Harlee Richard isn’t like most kids.

The 5-year-old jumped up on the bar stool March 28 and rubbed her hands in eager anticipation.

Holding up a picture of Vexie Smurf from the movie “The Smurfs 2,” Harlee could hardly wait to don the short frock, complete with an edgy blue streak in the front.

“She has been crossing off the days on her calendar in anticipation of today,” said her mom and Twisted Wrench Saloon owner Lisa Richard. “I wasn’t too happy about her wanting to cut off her hair until she told me why she wanted to and I am so proud of her.”

The Bell County Dogmen Motorcycle Club hosted a fundraiser at the bar March 28 to benefit the Battle For a Cure Foundation’s charge to help fund childhood cancer research.

Wanting to make another child happy, Harlee decided to donate 14 inches of her long locks to Wigs for Kids.

“My hair will grow back,” she said as her mother ran her fingers through her hair for the last time. “I’m not going to miss my long hair, because I know it will make another kid smile.”

Making the first cut was Amanda Bartlett, founder and president of the foundation, followed by cuts from Harlee’s older brothers, Michael Richard and Colton Monroe.

Bringing Harlee’s vision of a Vexie Smurf inspired hairdo was Tanya Maxwell of Beyond Paradise in Copperas Cove.

Bartlett said she dreamed of a day when pediatric oncology wards would be empty and children diagnosed with cancer would be guaranteed a cure.

In 2008, she vowed to make this dream a reality, and in 2010 she completed the paperwork to make Battle For a Cure an official nonprofit organization.

“The No. 1 disease killer of children is cancer and the research is grossly underfunded. Our mission is to make a difference in the lives of children fighting cancer and their families,” Bartlett said. “Our outreach programs would not be possible if it weren’t for people like Lisa. Every single penny we raise goes directly back to the little fighters.”

Childhood cancers claim more young lives than asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.

“We are giving childhood back to these kids, because cancer robs that of them,” she said.

The event generated $1,000.

Go to http://battle4acure.org.

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