No hair, no problem!

Dynamo players get heads shaved as part of Bald is Beautiful campaign

HOU_20110607_Brooks_03_Bald_Is_Beautiful_Michael_Chabala

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy Nigel Brooks

Since
coming to town in 2006, Houston Dynamo players have made a significant
commitment to serving their community. This week, the Dynamo - with defender
Mike Chabala joined by 11 teammates - once again backed up that commitment with the third annual Bald
is Beautiful event to benefit the Curing Children’s Cancer Fund.

“I’ve
spent a lot of time with these children and their families and spent a lot of
time in the Medical
Center, and I just want
to do my part,” said Chabala, who grows his hair out for the event every year. “We’re
trying to find a cure for a horrible disease that affects a lot of children. Ten
years ago, there was only a 10 percent chance of survival, and now it’s over 75
percent, but parents only see that their child has a 25 percent chance of
dying.”

MORE: Find out how you can contribute to the Bald is Beautiful campaign

Bald is
Beautiful is a chance for children suffering from pediatric cancer to come out,
have some fun, and see their Dynamo heroes get a new look. Following Tuesday's reserve game, 12 Dynamo players
- and one Dynamo Academy player on the reserve squad - had their heads shaved by pediatric cancer patients, and fans will have the opportunity to let Chabala shave their head prior to Saturday’s game.

The
head-shaving not only shows support for the patients, it also raises money –
most players raised at least $250 each before getting their heads shaved. Tuesday's event was both fun and emotional at the same time, with kids jumping at the chance to shave players' heads two at a time while hanging out with the other players.

VIDEO FROM TUESDAY'S EVENT

“Every one
of the guys has a good heart and wants to do something to contribute,” Chabala
said. “There are a lot of selfless players on this team that just want to help
in the community.”

MORE: See photos from Tuesday's head-shaving to see the new-look Dynamo!

Other
fundraising opportunities this week included a silent auction in which donors
bid on a number of items, including dinner with a player and soccer clinics; a
raffle; and a marrow donor drive.

Chabala
first got involved with the project when visiting area hospitals with former
Dynamo players Craig Waibel and Stuart Holden. As Chabala returned, he
developed a relationship with the patients and a thirst to do something more.
Now in its third year, Bald is Beautiful – inspired by Waibel’s own bald dome –
has raised more than $30,000 each year, and Chabala and Co. are committed to
sustaining the program’s success.

Tuesday's
event was another chance for patients to have some fun in the middle of
battling a tough disease. And while raising money is the objective, the goal is
to show the children that while cancer can take a lot out of you, being bald
can be fun.

“I think
the club has done a great job with the project and wants to make a positive
impact in the community,” Chabala said. “It’s a big help, and for the game on
June 11, you’ll see a lot of bald heads out there.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him
on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.