It's been a while since his last haircut, but Matthew Judon got to play barber for the day Sunday.
Serving as the ambassador for One Mission's 13th Annual Buzz Off event, the New England Patriots linebacker joined hundreds at Gillette Stadium raising funds and awareness for the charity to benefit children suffering from pediatric cancer.
"I love kids. They're the most genuine, honest, fearless people in the world," Judon said. "For everybody to come out here and put a smile on their faces for children going through a situation -- I support everything that this event is about."
The event began in 2009 and since has raised over $14.6 million in support of more than 37,000 children at local hospitals like Boston Children's Hospital, the Jimmy Fund Clinic at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Tomorrow Fund Clinic at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.
Funds help families of pediatric cancer patients from the point of the initial diagnosis through the treatment process, and the impact is evident based on Sunday's turnout -- the first in-person Buzz Off since 2019.
"One Mission does whatever it takes for kids fighting cancer," Ashley Haseotes, founder of One Mission, said. "Our goal is to change the experience of cancer treatment from a nightmare to a journey filled with moments of joy and friendship."
Friendship is what fueled Ahlivia Godwin to shave her head, after the young girl watched her friend Sophie battle a cancer diagnosis.
Among a majority of men and boys shaving their head, with a few women here and there, Ahlivia's darker golden hair stood out among those in the barber chairs.
After Judon shaved her head, he felt compelled to give the girl a hug and share a few words of praise.
"I told her it's the things we do that matter," Judon said. "Hair will grow back but what she's done for other people will remain."
Ahlivia was one of One Mission's top youth fundraisers this year, along with her friend Sam. Both will now attend a game as Judon's guest.
He may have brought the energy and star power to the event, but Judon says its contributions from everyone else that really make the non-profit go.
"They just asked me to show up today, but for everybody who actually put the work in (to fundraise) and help these kids, my heart goes out to them," Judon said. "I salute them for everything that they do."
Learn more about One Mission here.