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'Bucks for Baldness'

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A shave-and-a-haircut costs more than two bits these days at Milford (N.Y.) Central High School--in fact, it can run as high as $10,000.

Just before winter break, some Milford students jokingly challenged the school librarian, Phil Durkin, to do something outrageous to raise money for a trust fund to buy library books.

When he agreed to shave his head if they raised $500, the students realized the potential delight of combining fund raising with adult humiliation.

The "Bucks for Baldness, Baldness for Books" drive crystallized during a recent winter-break party at the school. A total of nine educators pledged to shave for bucks, including the school psychologist, principal, and the district superintendent, who upped the ante to $1,000, $2,000 and $5,000, respectively.

Mr. Durkin, who looks forward to resembling a Buddhist monk, says students have raised more than $900 in pledged funds and that a few have even shaved their heads in solidarity with the soon-to-be-shorn.

The fund raiser ends Feb. 28, when Milford students and staff members will assemble for a group shearing. A cosmetology student will play Delilah to the school's Samsons, while local radio and television stations record the fateful moment.

To Mr. Durkin, the crowning glory of the campaign came when Republican state Senator Jim Seward signed an agreement to lose his locks if the students raised $10,000.

"I want all the Democrats in the county to donate something," Mr. Durkin says. "That'll teach a Republican to open his mouth!"

--S.K.G.

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