In just four short years, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s Big Shave has become the ninth highest dollar volume event in the world for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The four-year total raised is over $815,000.

Local supporters of St. Baldrick’s gather pledges to raise money for shaving their heads at a large event at The Avenue Viera that coincides with the celebration of St.Patrick’s Day. “Shavees” sign up to shave in solidarity with children battling cancer.

St.-Baldricks-Avenue-VieraMore children are lost to cancer in the U.S. than any other disease — in fact, more than many other childhood diseases combined. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long, healthy lives.

Locally, the first Shave and Auction event was held at Meg O’Malley’s in Melbourne in March of 2011. “We started with a modest goal, to shave 50 heads and Raise $25,000,” said Garrett Lamp, the event’s volunteer organizer. “We shaved over 100 heads and raised over $73,000.”

The second Shave and Auction was held at a new venue, The Avenue Viera.  In only the second year, the Space Coast St. Baldrick’s Shave and Auction placed as the 25th largest event in the St. Baldrick’s organization and kept growing. In 2014 they shaved over 400 heads (including 71 women) raising over $319,000, becoming the ninth highest dollar volume event in the world for the foundation.

Mayor of Rockledge, Tom Price, will be one of the many “shavees” in 2015. He is a first time participant who signed up with Team “Rock for Julie.” After hearing about Julie from Steve Wilson he wanted to be one of the first from Rockledge to sign up.

“I believe in the event and everything about it,” Mayor Price said. “I really want to commend Steve for his work.”

Another supporter and shavee, Paul Metz, will be participating for the third time this year. He is also the captain of Team D5 and an engineer at Lockheed Martin. He first attended the event on an invitation from Garrett and he was impressed by the generosity and passion of the volunteers and supporters.

“Having three kids of my own, I want them to see my actions, learn from them and hopefully  understand the importance of giving back to the community we live in, and helping those that are less fortunate than us regardless if we know them or not,” Paul said. 

Like many, he has experienced the devastation that a cancer diagnosis can bring to family and friends.

“Giving of my time and shaving my head is a minor commitment from what these families are dealing with,” Paul said.  “Raising money to help fund the research to find a st.-baldricks-vieracure for children’s cancer is the least I can do.” 

This year will be another busy and successful one for St. Baldrick’s.

“We are celebrating our fifth anniversary and 2015 will be our ‘Million Dollar Year’ with over $1 million raised in Brevard County,” said Garrett. “We are very confident that we will reach our Million Dollar goal before the first head is even shaved this year.” 

Saturday, March 14: 5th Annual Space Coast Shave at The Avenue Viera 

Opening ceremony begins at 1 p.m., shaving begins at 1:15. 

This article appears in the February 2015 issue of SpaceCoast Living.
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