VILONIA — Members of the Vilonia Fire Department are spreading the word that bald is beautiful.
The movement began with Capt. K.C. Williams shaving his head in support of 11-year-old Haley Rose Goodwin of Conway, who is beginning chemotherapy as a means of fighting an inoperable cancer.
"She didn’t really want to be bald by herself," Williams said. "I told her that I would go first."
And, he did. Then, his fellow firefighters decided as a group to follow suit. And, they did.
Explaining Goodwin’s illness, Williams said the little girl has "a rare type of soft tissue cancer" called non-rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcoma.
"She will be undergoing some powerful long-term chemo in order to shrink the tumor," Williams said, adding that looking in the mirror and seeing hair loss is a constant reminder of one’s illness. "This is our little bitty way of sending out our love to Haley and to all kids, and drawing awareness to all the kids who have issues this season."
Due to her sensitive immune system, Goodwin was not at the Saturday night event at the fire station where several were on hand for the revealing of the bald heads. Those on hand, at the event, sporting the new look in addition to Williams included Chief Keith Hillman, and firefighters Allin Crawford, Donald Bonger, Stanley Jones, Jon Crawford, David Poston and Kenny Medlin.
"I called and asked her about us doing it and she said ‘don’t just do it for me,’" Williams said. "So, we are doing it not just for her but for all the other children around the country that are fighting. She’s just our motivator."
In addition, the firefighters are participating in the boot drive collecting money for needy children in Faulkner County.