Renee Nelson will go in for a haircut later this month and emerge with a head that is bald, but a food basket that is full.

Nelson, news and public service director for Augusta radio station B98.5, has promised to shave her head May 30 if she has raised at least $2,500 in donations for area food banks. SuperCuts, which will relieve Nelson of her hair, has agreed to match that figure, for a total of $5,000. Nelson, who has raised more than $1,300 thus far, said the money will be distributed to 21 food banks throughout Franklin, Kennebec and Somerset counties that the station supports during its annual fall Tanksgiving fundraiser, which has featured personalities broadcasting from the antique tank outside Camp Keyes in Augusta.

“I don’t want to stop at $5,000,” Nelson said. “I want to raise as much money as I can. All the money will go to the ‘Tanksgiving’ food banks.”

Nelson, whose head will be shaved at SuperCuts at Journal Square, off Western Avenue, wanted to do something dramatic to celebrate her birthday this year.

“It started as a joke,” Nelson said, “but as I thought about it and realized I could do this and do some good, it was a no-brainer to say I would do it.”

Nelson said her work at the radio station has exposed her to the need in the area.


“This is a way to make a difference,” she said. “But I did not want to wait for my birthday in August. It was important to me to do it so some of my hair would grow back by then.”

The fundraiser comes at a crucial time, said Abigail Perry, director of the Augusta Food Bank. She said food banks and pantries usually get a big push of support around the fall holiday seasons, but food stocks have decreased by spring, the same time of year when there is less focus on helping the hungry.

“I think Renee’s project is great,” Perry said. “It’s a new, different idea, so it’s raising awareness of the issue in a way some other, more traditional fundraisers or events may not be able to do.”

Perry said her food bank is providing food for more than 1,000 people every month.

“We have been busier in the last two months than ever before,” she said.

People who wish to donate to Hair for the Hungry can do so online at or at any Super Cuts in Maine, including Augusta and Waterville. For more information, visit online at

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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