A handful of Cazenovia Central School District's St. Baldrick's volunteers pose for a "before" picture. Top row (from left): Cazenovia High School Principal Eric Schnabl, social studies teacher Joe Schettine, physical education teacher Brian Ellithorpe, art teacher Adam Reynolds and science teacher Sean Kelly. Bottom row (from left): business teacher John Dermody, teaching assistant Debbie Kutik, maintenance department employee Bill Poglitsh, Erin Kelly and Christopher Kelly.
continued First-time shavee Beth Ryan, a teaching assistant at Burton Street Elementary (and one of the event’s top three fundraisers), said she’s excited at the prospect of helping to fight children’s cancer.
“This is definitely something very near and dear to my heart, as a 16-month-old boy who is close to my family was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago,” Ryan said. “Also, Nathaniel Henry, a courageous student at Burton Street, is going through cancer as we speak. I shave my head for these wonderful children, as well as all the children. It is so important to keep funding for research so more innocent children can be cured as our friend has been.”
Julie Mattina, on the other hand, has never had to experience the threat of cancer in her family. Her gratitude for that fact prompted her to volunteer as a shavee.
“I am extremely grateful to be able to say that,” Mattina said in a letter she sent to family and friends. “When I read up on the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, not only did I learn about this wonderful organization, but I learned that every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer and one in five will not survive.”
The foundation has awarded $127 million in grants since 2005 — nearly $25 million in 2013 alone — to more than 215 children's hospitals throughout the United States.
Debbie Kutik, a high school teaching assistant who also works as a private-duty nurse, is another first-time shavee. She said she had no qualms about lopping off her curly brown bob.
“It’s easy to do it for the kids,” Kutik said. “I’m excited. I can’t wait.”
Another first-time participant (and top fundraiser) is Nettie Goeler, who works as a speech/language pathologist at all three Cazenovia schools. She was inspired by her husband, who is considered a “Knight of the Bald Table” because he has shaved at least seven times.