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Huge turnout for St. Baldrick’s fundraiser

Head-shaving event raises over $25K for pediatric cancer research

Members of the Morrisville State College lacrosse team get their heads shaved at the St. Baldrick’s fundraising event Sunday, March 18, at St. James Episcopal Church in Skaneateles. The event raised more than $21,000 for childhood cancer research.

Members of the Morrisville State College lacrosse team get their heads shaved at the St. Baldrick’s fundraising event Sunday, March 18, at St. James Episcopal Church in Skaneateles. The event raised more than $21,000 for childhood cancer research.

— The walls of the chapel hall at St. James were decorated with posters of children diagnosed with cancer, detailing their lives and their battle with the disease. There was food for sale at a concession stand, along with baked goods made by the women of St. James church also for sale. All money raised from those two tables also was donated to St. Baldrick’s.

“St. Baldrick’s is the number one funder of childhood cancer research, and childhood cancer research goes very underfunded,” said event announcer, Katharine Edwards, when the event began. “Every three-and-a-half minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer, and every four hours a child loses a life to cancer.”

Testimonials were given by parents whose children and families had gone through the battle with childhood cancer. Some of the phrases attendees heard during these testimonials were things like, “horror film brought to life,” “our lives were turned upside down,” and “everything changed forever for us.”

The stories were full of pain, but also hope.

Amy O’Bryan told the story of her son Andrew’s bone cancer that ultimately lost him his leg. But from the terror that her son would die, O’Bryan told of Andrew’s strength and faith, and the fact that he is now back on the basketball court with a prosthetic leg and is even the high scorer on his team.

“He is so strong; he taught me so many lessons. He taught me to never give up,” O’Bryan said.

When the head shaving commenced, some people went up individually, some went up in teams. Five members of the Morrisville State College Lacrosse team participated, as did a team of St. James church members and a team called “A teacher, a mom and a bunch of eggheads.”

The shaves were men and women, young and old. Some of the women had hair long enough that they donated it to Locks of Love or other charities that make wigs out of donated hair.

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