Downtown restaurant owner chops locks for charity

Posted October 8, 2008 2:39 p.m. EDT
Updated October 8, 2008 3:50 p.m. EDT

— Patrons at Joe's Place got what could be considered an unexpected treat during their lunchtime dining Wednesday.

Joe Sciolino, who owns the downtown Raleigh restaurant, got more than 1 foot of his locks chopped for charity and to help raise awareness for cancer.

The cause: Locks of Love, a nonprofit group that provides hairpieces to people who have lost their hair because of illness.

Sciolino lost his mother, Edee, to breast cancer in 1989. He lost his father, Charlie, to multiple myeloma in June 2006.

That's when he decided to start growing out his hair.

"It was my own way of dealing with the grief of losing my parents and giving back at the same time," Sciolino said.

Wednesday would have been his father's 82nd birthday.

Susan McCormick, a volunteer with the Triangle affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, says most of Sciolino's har will likely go to make an adult wig.

Sciolino said with all the hair, he's been hot for a long time and was ready to get rid of it. Having played Santa Claus for the past seven years for children at Durham Regional Hospital, he says he'll definitely need to wear a Santa wig this year.