This weekend is Black Out Cancer Weekend across the NLL, and Paul Dawson had something special saved up for the event: his hair.
Yesterday, Dawson and his teammates were at West End Johnnies on Portland St. in Boston to raise money for Friends Place, a part of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dawson had more than 20 months worth of hair to give, and his teammates all shaved their heads in solidarity and to raise awareness for the cause.
Dawson began growing his hair in July 2008, and decided last summer he was going to give it all away for cancer patients.
"Just by chance the team announced we were going to do the league wide blackout for cancer, so it coincided," said Dawson. "It was just perfect."
As for the idea for making it a team exercise? Dawson gives the credit to his brother, team captain Dan Dawson.
"He had the idea that every guy does it, and they all jumped on board," Paul Dawson said.
The majority of his teammates were on hand to support Paul's effort, and Dan Dawson said his parents flew into Boston to see Paul get his hair cut.
"They live in Toronto, so they came all this way for my brother," he said.
The team said Paul had raised approximately $3,500 through Friday, but anyone can donate to Dawson's cause by going to www.blazerslacrosse.com/paul.
Tonight on the field, Dawson thinks it will help his team knock off the East-leading Orlando Titans, and pull the Blazers within half a game of first place.
"I think it will make me one step faster," Dawson laughed. "I guess it was a long time coming."