Starting in 2000 as a volunteered-power charity dedicated to raising money for lifesaving childhood cancer research, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation has donated over $200 million in grants towards cancer research, specifically in children. That is more than any other organization in the country besides the US government.
Each year, thousands of events are hosted across the country, including Terry Henricks’ car dealership in Archbold, where individuals vow to have their head shaved with family, friends, and corporate sponsors pledging their monetary support to see it happen.
This year’s event was the seventh one hosted by the dealership, with over $100,000 being raised through the previous six years. This year’s shavees included children, community members, dealership employees, and local law enforcement. However, the shaving of the scalps is not the big picture, according to Cristine Lovato, the foundation’s Media & PR Manager.
“The shaving itself is just a means to an end. On the surface, we shave because kids with cancer often lose their hair during treatment, and we stand proudly bald beside them. But the true goal–to cure childhood cancer–will be accomplished because, while shaving, we raise funds for lifesaving childhood cancer research,” she said.
School Resource Officer Matt McDonough and Chief Keith Torbet represented the Wauseon Police Department in the head shaving festivities. Like many others, their decision to participate was fueled by seeing the struggle of numerous children in Fulton County, and they are glad to do it.
“If something as simple as getting my head shaved to help raise money and awareness brings an end to this terrible disease, then it is a very small price to pay,” Torbet said.
Joining the ranks of their counterparts at the Wauseon Police Department, Napoleon Police Department, and Henry County Sheriff’s Office, numerous personnel from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office took part in the event for the second time, as well.
Last year, my cousin’s son. Chase, was dealing with cancer and they challenged the Sheriff’s Office to shave our heads. While we were there, we met some other children, [including] Thane Wooley, and saw firsthand how much this support meant to the kids. It was overwhelming,” Sheriff Roy Miller said.
Stories were shared all around about the effects cancer has had on the attendees’ loved ones around the area. Many donations were also shared in memory of Tiana Bishop, Kellen Keiser, Layne Knapp, Maddy Lambert, and Thane Wooley, all late victims of the disease, as well as Chase Miller, a Wauseon cancer survivor.
Between all the participants and activities at the event, over $14,300 of the $20,000 goal has been raised through this year’s festivities in Archbold. Online giving is still available through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation website.
Cory Johnson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.