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Liverpool: CHE hosts St. Baldrick's Day celebration

Every year, more and more people shave their heads.

It's not a fashion statement -- it's an effort to raise money to bring an end to childhood cancer.

This year, at Chestnut Hill Elementary, four teachers, an occupational therapist and a friend of the school agreed to shave their heads in exchange for donations from staff, students and families as part of a St. Baldrick's Day fundraiser. The goal was $500, but the teachers raised nearly $2,000.

"The support we've gotten has been amazing," said sixth grade teacher Larry Lazlo, who organized the event at CHE. "Our principal, Martha O'Leary, is always willing to let us do anything like this that will help kids, and so many people gave money and time. And then there's the guys that got roped into joining me in shaving their heads."

At CHE, four teachers (Lazlo, sixth grade teacher Todd Bourcy, fifth grade teacher Daniel Chilbert and fourth grade teacher Aaron Dennis), occupational therapist Jonathan Reid and ??, a friend of Chilbert's, agreed to participate in the school's first-ever St. Baldrick's Day fundraiser.

St. Baldrick's Day got its start in 1999, when Tim Kenny challenged friends John Bender and Enda McDonnell to find a way to give back to society. The three insurance executives ended up turning their industry's St. Patrick's Day party into a benefit for kids with cancer. The three planned to raise $17,000 on the 17th, recruiting 17 colleagues to raise $1,000 each to have their heads shaved in empathy for children who lost their hair after cancer treatment. But the first St. Baldrick's event, held on March 17, 2000, far exceeded their expectations, raising over $104,000. St. Baldrick's is now the world's largest volunteer-driven fundraising event for childhood cancer research. Thousands of volunteers shave their heads in solidarity of children with cancer, while requesting donations of support from friends and family.

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