Missoula County Coverage

Feb 2, 2013 8:00 PM by Brin Merkley - KPAX News

Seeley Lake turns out to support family of drowning victim

SEELEY LAKE - Dozens of community members shaved their heads Saturday to help the Elyjah James Memorial Fund, which was set up after a 4-year-old boy drowned in a local pond earlier this month.

Bald heads were symbolic of big hearts at the All Decked Out hair salon, and a mourning community was given much needed laughter as Fire department chief Frank Maradeo shaved his infamous silver locks.

The salon offered $10 haircuts all day to help the family of Elyjah James during their time in grief. Seeley Lake Fire Chief Frank Maradeo says each fireman donated $100 per shave.

"{Elyjah] just loved the fire departments so this is our way of you know showing the family support, showing how much we cared for Elijah because of his love for us. And also like I said, to help our members in the grieving process, and just to do something and the community is really, really supportive of this so ..it's great," Maradeo told us.

He added that not only did the fire department contribute, but so did the U.S. Forest Service, the local game warden, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, and many others from the general public.

Maradeo and Salon owner Becky Robbins say they are amazed by the support of the community, and a total of nearly $4,000 was raised.

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