UMPI

Planet Head Day goes from Poland to Nebraska

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Even though University of Maine at Presque Isle Professor Kevin McCartney is on sabbatical, it seems Planet Head Day has followed him out to Nebraska, where he had his head shaved to help raise funds for cancer.      McCartney, a Rotarian and a Caribou resident, is the cofounder of the event in Presque Isle, which raises money for local people experiencing cancer. While researching in Nebraska, he got his head shaved and painted as Pluto on Oct. 22 for a Planet Head Day event happening in Poland the next day. 

The event has been held at the University of Maine at Presque Isle for a decade and a half and serves as a unique fundraiser. People have the chance to shave their heads and get them painted as planets in support of cancer patients. 

The event went international in 2018 with an event in Szczecin, Poland, where McCartney has spent time conducting silicoflagellate research. The Oct. 23 event in Poland begins a 113-day series of events meant to raise funds for cancer. The number of days is significant: the New Horizons mission to Pluto took 113 months. 

The “mission completed” celebration in Poland will be held on Saturday, Feb. 5 — which is 113 days from Oct. 23. 

McCartney enlisted the help of friends from the Lincoln East Rotary Club in Nebraska to help him find a location, barber and head painter for this effort. 

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