Brownwood Fire Chief Del Albright entered the Brownwood City Council meeting Tuesday morning with a full head of dark hair. When Albright walked out later, he had considerably less..
As in, practically none — just a sheen, thanks to the electric clippers of Roland Finch of University Cuts, who sheared the chief as part of an on-going fundraising campaign to help ill firefighter Jake Landess.
"Very cool," Albright said when asked how he felt. "I mean, like the temperature, cool."
Albright didn't, at first, join in with firefighters' willingness to have their heads shaved to show their support of Landess, who is being treated for leukemia. Albright had another idea.
"I have not shaved my head yet, mostly because I look veery handsome with my hair," Albright joked in a June 24 email. "But, if I can raise $500 I told them I would shave my head for Jake."
Carrying clippers and a few other supplies, Finch arrived in the council chambers around 9:15 as council members dealt with a light agenda. He took a seat in a middle row. Albright, seated in the back, seemed to notice that Finch had arrived.
"We're going to have a head-shaving," Mayor Stephen Haynes announced as the official portion of the council meeting concluded.
Wisecracks and laughter prevailed as Albright took a seat near the front of the council chambers and Finch draped a smock around Albright's shoulders. Albright began thanking businesses and organizations for their donations including the Blanket and Winchell fire departments, Anytime Fitness and Guardian EMS.
Then, Albright announced that his hair-brained promise had generated nearly $1,700 in donations for the Landess family.
"Yes, I am nervous," Albright admitted as Finch prepared for the deed.
"Don't be gentle. Use the dog clippers," Finance Director Walter Middleton urged.
Methodically, Finch ran his clippers, a row at a time, over Albright's head.
"I want everybody to go to Roland's shop," Albright instructed. "He's doing a good job. I don't feel any pain."
Other fundraising efforts are under way to benefit Landess, 44.
After Landess was diagnosed with leukemia, members of the Brownwood Professional Firefighters Association, Brownwood Municipal Police Association and Heart of Texas EMS began planning events including:
• Firefighters-versus-police officers slow pitch softball game, 9 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at the Camp Bowie softball fields.
• A home home run derby the same night will be split into two categories — teenagers and adults — with the first contest starting before the game at 7 p.m. and the second after the game at midnight.
Entry fee for the home run derby contest will be $20 for 10 pitches. The teenage division will be open to anyone between the ages of 13-18 and gift certificates will be awarded for the first and second place winners. The adult division will be completing for a first place pot consisting of 25 percent of the entry fee while the remaining 75 percent will go to benefit Landess.
• A silent auction will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and will feature several items that have been donated including a Cerakote firearm, Schlitterbahn tickets, gift cards to Humphrey Pete’s and Skillets, a $250 gift certificate to Nathan’s Jewelers, two oil changes from Prime Time Lube and a $50 gift card to Taylors Mini-Mall.
For updates on fund-raisers, follow the Fighting for Jake Landess Facebook Fan page at facebook.com/FightingForJakeLandess.
A benefit account has been set up at TexasBank in Brownwood to help the family.