This February, the University of Maine at Presque Isle, C-A-N-C-E-R [Caring Area Neighbors for Cancer Education and Recovery], and community members will kick off a new decade of close-shaving, head-painting, fundraising planetary fun when they celebrate the 11th annual Planet Head Day.

The region’s most unique fundraiser, which brings together space science education and cancer awareness, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Wieden Gymnasium. This not-to-be-missed celebration is free and the public is invited to attend.

This year’s event is being held in honor of the inspiration for Planet Head Day, Jeanie McGowan, who passed away from cancer last year. McGowan helped to coordinate many Planet Head Day events and administered the educational grant that allowed UMPI and Planet Head Day to be involved in the NASA New Horizons space mission to Pluto.

Since the event’s establishment, nearly 1,000 people have donned theatrical bald caps or had their heads shaved so they could have their favorite planet, dwarf planet, moon, comet or asteroid painted on their head. All told, the event has raised nearly $150,000 for local cancer education and relief, and has become one of the most widely known single-day fundraising events in northern Maine. Planet Head Day is the major fundraising event for C-A-N-C-E-R, an Aroostook County-based grassroots organization that assists cancer patients and their families.

Planet Head Day is held each year near the February 18th anniversary of the discovery of Pluto in 1930. C-A-N-C-E-R board members are excited to present this event for the eleventh time. All monies raised during Planet Head Day stay in the County and help those recently diagnosed with cancer or who are in treatment for cancer. C-A-N-C-E-R strives to help patients with travel expenses and other treatment-related expenses. It has also, in special circumstances, helped in other appropriate ways to bridge gaps until other secure agency solutions can be identified.

Last year’s Planet Head Day saw more than 100 “PlanetHeads”, with about half opting for haircuts, and raised more than $11,000. PlanetHeads have included community leaders, teachers, pastors, parents, and faculty and students from the University. Many other local businesses and organizations participate in this event, often by raising money in support of one of the PlanetHeads.

For more information about participating in the event or to assist with the head painting, contact Jim Stepp at 207-768-9601 or Susan Black with C-A-N-C-E-R at 207-764-4647.

For those who cannot attend the festivities, donations can be sent directly to C-A-N-C-E-R, P.O. Box 811, Presque Isle, ME  04769.

This information was submitted to us as part of a press release. If you would like to share your community news or event with our audience, please email

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