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July 31, 2014

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Getting buzzed with Holly Madison is actually good for the cause

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Denise Truscello / WireImage / DeniseTruscello.net

Holly Madison shaves the head of John Katsilometes of The Kats Report in support of St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s fundraiser for childhood cancer research Saturday, March 1, 2014, at New York-New York’s Brooklyn Bridge.

Updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 | 11:03 a.m.

Holly Madison Shaves Kats’ Head

Holly Madison shaves the head of John Katsilometes of The Kats Report in support of St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s fundraiser for childhood cancer research Saturday, March 1, 2014, at New York-New York’s Brooklyn Bridge.

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You have to appreciate Holly Madison’s adaptability.

Five minutes after announcing that she’d never before shaved someone’s head, she had effectively sheared me down to a mohawk.

“We are going for multiple hairstyles here,” Madison said as a crush of photographers, volunteers and attendees craned for a look. The idea was to look something like slick-skulled MC Chet Buchanan of KLUC 98.5-FM, but we left with just a hint of fuzz.

Madison volunteered her time and, as it happened, surprisingly advanced grooming skills Saturday afternoon during the St. Baldrick’s Day head-shaving fundraiser at New York-New York’s Brooklyn Bridge as part of a citywide effort to raise funds and awareness for the organization that fights childhood cancer. Head-shaving parties also were held at Ri Ra Irish Pub at Mandalay Bay, McMullan’s Irish Pub just across Cameron Street from the Orleans and Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel.

St. Baldrick’s was launched in 1999, and events were first organized at McMullan’s in 2007. The pub’s owners, Brian and Lynn McMullan, lost their 2-year-old daughter, Krya, to a brain tumor 17 years ago. “Shavees” collected donations for volunteering their time and locks, and contributions are still being taken online at the St. Baldrick’s website.

No word yet on how much money was raised Saturday, but it seemed by mid-afternoon that the event might well exceed last year’s take of $53,000 — just at New York-New York.

Madison did mention from the stage that an announcement is in the offing offering details of her upcoming speakeasy-set, burlesque-themed show at Mandalay Bay, which is to be open by the end of May and take over the old Forty Deuce space at the bottom of the escalators next to Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood. Madison and her creative director, Gene Lubas, have been crisscrossing the city reviewing shows and coming up with concepts for the new production. Madison took in “Selene Luna’s Dog & Pony Show” at Inspire a couple of weekends ago.

Madison, who has become an expert and a fan of Las Vegas culture and history since moving to the city six years ago, also mentioned that she was interested in buying the Liberace Mansion last year before the property was snapped up by Liberace fan and investor Martyn Ravenhill. She was just a little late to make an offer and has wound up with a home in the Scotch 80s with her husband, Insomiac Events chief Pasquale Rotella, and daughter Rainbow, who turns a year old Wednesday.

Update: Organizers report the amount raised from Saturday's St. Baldrick's event just at New York-New York was $112,000, more than double what was raised last year.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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