Conant’s St. Baldrick’s event raises thousands of dollars for childhood cancer research
Conant students, staff, and volunteers participated on Thursday, March 5 in the annual St. Baldrick’s fundraiser, hosted by NHS, raising over $17,000 for the support and research of childhood cancers.
As described on their website, the annual St. Baldrick’s event is “… a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long, healthy lives.”
The goal of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation here at the Conant is to “raise awareness and collect funds for the support and research to those affected by cancer,” said Andrea Storey, a senior and planner of the event.
One of the aspects of the foundation is “Braving the Shave”–the act of shaving your head for donations and symbolism of the charity.
Danny Zawadzki, a sophomore and one of the participants in Braving the Shave, said, “Donating, although a very important and necessary thing, only creates so much of a message. But by voluntarily shaving your head, when children with cancer have no choice, you make more of an impact on people and send more of a message.”
Michael Einig, a senior and planner of the event, said, “The event is meant to promote awareness and respect towards those who have cancer. Getting people to the event and inspiring them can lead to other, even greater things in the future.”
With a much smaller group this year–with 30 participants, 23 of which shaved their heads–Einig says that prom for the upperclassmen and other situations were the biggest reason why the turnout was much lower this year than in previous years. Despite that, the foundation raised approximately $17,150 by the end of the event, surpassing the original goal of $5,000.
Freshman Lauren Day, who contributed a staggering $2,535 for the cause, explained, “St. Baldrick’s is just a good cause, one that everyone can contribute to and be made aware of.”
Day said she owes her family and friends for the massive support, especially for the hope she could provide for someone like her older sister, who she explained was diagnosed with cancer. “Cancer has touched my life, and it will touch others too, so I believe this is a great way to get the word out.” Day and her sister had joined the event two years before, both shaving their heads.
Einig said that raising awareness doesn’t have to mean “Braving the Shave” necessarily; donation and recognition are greatly appreciated. As more people recognize the severity of the disease, Einig explained, society will get closer as a whole to discovering a cure for cancer.
Zawadzki said, “It’s all too easy to forget someone with cancer, or forget that anyone is sick, but it’s with fundraisers like St. Baldrick’s that we can prevent that.”
Storey explained her own experiences with cancer. “My mom was diagnosed over the summer and during that time it felt like I was being consumed with both worry for my mom and fear of how quickly cancer could slip into your life. I could only imagine what other people are going through when faced with this disease. It only solidified my reason to become a part of St. Baldrick’s.”
Click through the gallery above for some of the pictures from the event.