Those are the three goals of the St. Baldrick’s head shaving event. You read that right– head shaving event. Supporters of St. Baldrick’s gather pledges to raise money for shaving their heads at a large event that coincides with the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Supporters say it’s an easy and fun way to raise money for a very serious cause.
“Cancer is the number one disease killer of children, and of every dollar spent on all cancer research only four cents is spent on children’s cancer,” according to event coordinator Garrett Lamp.
Last year the event raised $157,396 for lifesaving pediatric cancer research. This year Garrett hopes to shave even more heads and raise more money. There are “shavees” of all ages and both genders. Even entire families participate. Like Lisa and David Meier with their two sons Andrew (10) and Matthew (6). Last year, Lisa volunteered on the day of the event and financially supported other shavees.
“David and the boys came by to watch the shave and once they got there, Andrew (9 at the time) was very affected by watching the others have their heads shaved and decided at the last minute he wanted to participate.” Lisa said. “So, we donated additional money and supported him.”
Now this year the entire family is involved. Lisa is coordinating the volunteer efforts while David, Andrew and Matthew have all signed up to raise money as shavees.
“Not only did witnessing the shave have quite an emotional impact on our family, but when we learned St. Baldrick’s is actually the largest financial supporter of pediatric cancer research, after the U.S. government, we felt very good about supporting the organization,” David says. “We are so blessed to have a healthy family, but know others who have lost children to cancer and this is a small effort on our part. We also love the St. Baldrick’s event is something in which our entire family can participate.”
“Andrew is excited as this year we will have family members and friends there to support and watch them get shaved,” Lisa says. “David and Matthew are a little nervous at what they will look like afterwards.” We are all hoping David’s hair grows back!” Lisa joked. “Afterwards, we hope there will be a sense of feeling good about physically ‘showing’ kids who lose their hair due to cancer treatments, they have many people, especially other kids, who support them and don’t think they are different.”
In the past year St. Baldrick’s has teamed up with Stand Up 2 Cancer nationally and been named by the National Cancer Institute as “The most forward looking and robust philanthropic foundation for childhood cancer.”