Skaneateles David Plogman thought that when the St. Baldrick’s head-shaving fundraiser he co-chaired kicked off Sunday, March 18, there would be about 20 people there to participate and maybe help them reach the event goal of raising $3,000. Instead, the chapel hall at St. James Episcopal Church was thronged with more than 100 people, about 70 of whom got their heads shaved and raised more than $25,000.
“It’s just crazy. I can’t believe the turnout,” Plogman said. “We started with seven people signed up, and stayed that number for two months. Then every day and every week we got more people. It’s humbling; it is so amazing.”
The St. Baldrick's Foundation is a national volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. Anyone can host or create a head-shaving event to raise money for the organization.
Participants collect pledges from family and friends and agree to have their heads shaved as a visible, outward sign of the fight against all types of cancer. The money goes to St. Baldrick’s, but typically gets allocated to medical facilities local to an event.
All the money raised at the St. James event will benefit numerous children in the Central New York area by being given mostly to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse.
Plogman, a St. James member who lives in Marcellus, came up with the idea to host a St. Baldrick’s event in Skaneateles after he and his sons participated in two events at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Camillus through the boys’ Boy Scout troop.
Plogman and fellow St. James member Georgia Yokum co-chaired the event – and both got their heads shaved as well.
“I hope this will become an annual event, and maybe next year move into the high school for even more space,” Yokum said.