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Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018 at 9:40 am

Live at 6 | Children Fundraising For Cancer At Kitty Hoynes

Chris Venzon – Syracuse, N.Y. (CitrusTV) – In downtown Syracuse, there’s a bar that’s been a fixture of the West Fayette Street-South Franklin Street intersection. Kitty Hoynes has a proud connection to the city, and it does what it can to give back to the town that has so readily embraced it since David and Cindy Hoynes set up shop nearly 29 years ago.

The way Kitty Hoynes gives back is by hosting an annual fundraiser for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for childhood cancer. Every year, Kitty Hoynes invites local hairdressers to shave fundraiser’s heads to support children in the area with cancer. Groups spend weeks raising money with the promise that they will “brave the bald” until their hair grows back. The methods have worked. Since January, the pub’s raised more than $450,000.

On Sunday morning, the largest donor of the day slowly pushes through the crowd numbering in the hundreds. He’s greeted by his friends, family and fundraising teammates near the wooden table top opposite the shaving chairs. His black bangs extend below his eyebrows. Dozens of people, young and old walk over to greet him. Most offer congratulatory remarks.

It’s easy to lose this gentleman in the crowd because of the throngs of people that surround him. But mostly, it’s because he’s just a few inches over five feet tall.

This gentleman is Bodie Centore. He is a seventh grader from Onondaga Middle School. He raised $25,000 dollars for St. Baldrick’s.

Centore’s group, the “Baldacious Baldies,” comprised of mostly other pre-teens, has raised $50,000 for St. Baldrick’s since the start of 2017. The Baldies raised the money by going door to door, asking local businesses for help and promoting their donation’s page on social media.

“It just feels good to be a part of something like this,” Centore said, his smiling mouth full of braces, “it feels good to know what we’re doing is helping people and that I’m a small part of it.”

His mother, Jeanne Albanese, is almost as stunned at the figure as the rest of the on-lookers who see Bodie bounce through the commotion of the bar.

“When he came to me and said I want to make a team, I said: ‘Oh, okay!’ But it’s been incredible what he’s been able to do. I am so proud of him. When he gets his mind set and says he wants to do something, he usually gets it done,” she said.

You would think today’s middle schoolers would be terrified to return to their classmates with fully shaved scalps. Austin Townley, 13, one of the Baldacious Baldies team captains, sees it differently.

“We don’t get super nervous because we don’t get made fun of that much. Everybody in school I think knows that this is a really good cause.”