Local mainstay Denny Moe’s Superstar Barbershop recently opened its doors and its clippers to the public for free as part of a 48-hour marathon designed to raise funds and awareness for community healthcare services and resources.

The Cutting for a Cure Marathon, spearheaded by barbershop owner Dennis “Denny Moe” Mitchell, brought in 12 celebrity barbers to cut hair for two days straight, all for free. The 48-hour round-the-clock event also included live musical entertainment, a haircutting competition, and free healthcare services like medical screenings and wellness seminars for the public.

Mitchell was inspired to launch a public awareness campaign for disease prevention after losing both his father and brother to cancer. “I watched how cancer works,” he said. “It goes hard and it is relentless. For this reason I put together the 48-hour marathon. Anyone can put an event together and have screening trucks for a couple hours. I really wanted to go hard.”

Mitchell himself was also diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2010.

“I’ve probably had it a long time, but didn’t realize it until I became familiar with the symptoms,” he said, which is why the Cutting for a Cure Marathon emphasizes the importance of regular screenings.

He adds that many black men neglect regular healthcare check-ups, despite the fact that 85% of urgent care centers are open seven days a week. So instead, he wanted to bring healthcare to them.

“I realized that my barbershop, as an intrinsic part of my community, is one of the best platforms to spread awareness,” he said. “I wanted to use that platform to provide health screenings, along with entertainment.”

The barbershop is a natural setting for spurring conversation about men’s health, Mitchell said, because “this barbershop is a men’s haven… and we can talk about health on a men’s basis. I believe that sharing is key.”