The most fun a haircut may be... and raising money for childhood cancer research

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 03/16/2009 - 23:52.

You can't hang out at A.J. Rocco's Cafe before St. Patrick's Day without feeling an incling to shave your head. I stopped by, today. I'm shaving my head tomorrow.

Each St. Patrick's Day, A.J. Rocco's is a head-shaving circus... hosting the annual St. Baldrick's event... the world's largest volunteer-driven fundraising event for childhood cancer research. A.J. Rocco's is consistently one of their top fundraising locations in the nation (featured in today's header, with owner Brendan Walton and friend prepping for tomorrow's big event - already shaved for publicity).

I participated in 2006 - the first time I ever had my hair short, much less shaved - and it was actually fun... and a very strange feeling, for weeks... Mayor Brewer said I looked like a skinhead... my wife was none-to-pleased, and is not thrilled again.

To me, it's a chance to do a simple, painless thing for a good cause, surrounded by some of the best, most authentic people you may know, in the best bar/coffee house/cafe in Cleveland, in the real heart of one of Cleveland's most special days... and if you have seen me lately you surely know I need a haircut!!!

If you want to make a donation, go here... to be a Shavee, and join me for the experience, and perhaps amp up more fundraising support, meet at A.J. Rocco's around 1 PM - you can register on-line or in person on St. Patrick's Day - fundraising continues on-line for a few weeks after... TEAM REALNEO returns.

You'll surely see photos....

TEAM REALNEO after St. Balkrick's head shaving

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Stunned Shavee

Nice one, Norm.  And yes, everyone - that is me on the far left of the last photo.   Memories.   See you there, Norm -  I won't go 'skin-head' again, but I will donate and down a cold one!  Look forward to it - see you 'round one.

Realneo history and Caxton changemaking

Norm, your piece brought back some old-school memories - we've really had a history that goes, way back - with Brendan and AJ Rocco's.  Its little wonder that the once-home for our realneo endeavors - anyone remember the NEON signs, fashioned by neon legend Dana Patterson,  we proudly displayed in our Caxton Building office window?   Yes - our very own, original realneo top-of-page taxonomy,  I designed to represent holistic quality of life in six-sphere fashion.   Those spheres were, of course:  arts and culture, education, environment, economy,  health, and technology.   They were the same spheres we showcased at the Palace theater, with each neon anchoring a facilitated roundtable to discuss core issues around a sustainable economy.  I still take to heart the late great Eddie Hauser confiding to me:  'Hey Sudhir, everyone's curious about the neons - David Beach keeps asking about them'.   So a bit later, I took the liberty a bit later to illuminate the story around these Dana - produced illuminatons.    Holistic quality-of-life representation.    Soon afterward, we saw a similar (albeit more complicated) taxonomy emerge with a new sustainability-site  - Green City Blue Lake.

So many memories from the Rocco's era - we can, I'm sure recall hosting meetings to discuss core things we needed to do, to help uplift underprivileged communities like East Cleveland - and after much trial and tribulation we are finally getting there, years later.   We helped connect - way back then - local foods guru Maurice Small and AJ's to ensure a composting solution would carry on from that time on.

We hosted several wonderful realneo roundtables at the City Club, with great keynote speakers like Chris Ronayne of UCI, Paul Alsenas with the County Planning Commission, Scott Rourke and Mark Ashbury of One Community - and so many others.   Our goal was not only to break bread, but break ground - toward meaningful and lasting positive change for our great city and region.   Eddie Hauser and I diligently assisted with and attended every one of these,  dragging our 'REALNEO' neon in tow.   So many fond - and not-so-fond memories: the changes we advocated were clearly not embraced by all - but we fought, as community development - concerned citizens for so long - and change IS coming!

I am proud to have been there, from day one - always striving to help improve our city and community - to make positive change.

Five years ago, we started down this realneo road.   What an amazing and convoluted tale we could tell -  but a rewarding one, ultimately, I know!  Now we have a robust co-op team, rather than a lonely three.  And we are amazing - doing it without major financing, as a grassroots collective.   We rock!

REAL COOP Rocks!......... BE PROUD

What A Long Strange Trip It's Been - as life must be.

See you shortly...

Disrupt IT

Spring cleaning

Norm... at St. Baldrick's 2009

Disrupt IT