There was perhaps nothing more beautiful than the 59 people who left Terry Henricks bald on Monday, March 18. Those who came for the St. Baldrick’s event, the fourth held by the auto dealer, were males and females of all ages who all “braved the shave” for the same cause – to fight childhood cancers.
Rena Sauder, GM at Terry Henricks and the organizer of the event, explained that there is a child diagnosed with some form of childhood cancer every three minutes. She continued by saying, “To put that in perspective, every time the radio station starts playing a different song another child is diagnosed with cancer and one out of five don’t survive.”
Sauder also explained that the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is completely volunteer driven and that all of the funds the foundations raised go to research in hopes of finding treatments for all types of childhood cancers. The foundation has raised $11 million in the past year for this cause. With only four percent of the National Cancer Institutes funds raised going towards childhood cancer research, the funds raised by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation are critical in funding research specifically geared towards children. The lack of research in childhood cancer has caused children with cancer to be treated by the same methods as adults despite their children’s’ physiologies.
Terry Henricks first became involved with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation four years ago when they were approached by a representative of the foundation who was desperate for a venue to hold a planned event. Those working at the dealership have since developed a passion for the cause, raising over $40,000 in their first three events.
This year the goal was set at $20,000 and has already been eclipsed with a total $20,530 already earned as of March 19 and with online donations still coming in. The bulk of these funds are raised by online donations and sponsors of those coming in to have their head shaved in support of the cause. Sauder set her own goal this year to raise $5000 just by having her own head shaved. As of March 19 she was nearing the goal with donations and sponsors still coming in. This year marked Sauder’s third year of participating as a “shavee,” and she explains that “It’s really nothing to sit in the chair.”
Other methods are available for those wishing to contribute who are not quite so daring enough to have their head shaved. This year’s St. Baldrick’s event at Terry Henricks also included a bake sale, book sale, raffle items, a 50/50 drawing, and a silent auction. Students from the Archbold High School Art class were also on hand for face painting and Rachel Kinsman from the Fulton County Health Department came in to do nail painting. Refreshments were also available and cash donations accepted.
Still nothing seemed to draw the crowd as much as the first “shavee”, young Travis Hester from Maumee, who came with the support of his parents and grandparents, to be the first of his friends who would also later participate. Hester was not the only one to come a considerable distance to show his support for the St. Baldrick’s cause. John Adams from Mesa, Arizona was the second to sit in the chair and explained that he happened to be in the area and that thought he would participate because “it’s for a good cause.” Jade Stiernhoff, a Bowling Green State University student from Sandusky, quickly followed and doubled her efforts to help all cancer patients by donating her braids to Locks of Love before being shaved. The shaving continued through the early evening hours and all of those who were shaved were also given an “Ask Me Why I’m Bald” pin to wear to both commemorate their act as well as to help further promote the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s cause.
A sign stating that “We don’t quit fighting because their gone. It’s because they’re gone that we KEEP fighting” hung high over the event with pictures of children whom the St. Baldrick’s event at Terry Henricks has honored in the past. It is the hope of Rena Sauder and the rest of the employees of the dealership that their ability to help fight childhood cancer and support the St. Baldrick’s Foundation will continue to grow. Those wishing to participate next year or learn more about the St. Baldrick’s foundation can find more information at www.stbaldricks.org.