Let the shaving begin!
The annual St. Baldrick’s celebration — a fundraising event at which participants shave their heads for donations to raise money for childhood cancer research — is set for this weekend.
On Friday, March 11, the event begins at at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 12 the event begins at 's at noon. A third event will take place Sunday at in East Northport, also beginning at noon.
Chief John McKenna is on the charity's Board of Directors and spearheads the two Northport events. He is an annual 'shavee' as well.
Despite money pledged so far, McKenna is concerned and has put out an urgent call for participants or donors. Northport events were always among the top fundraisers in the past, he said. But the amount of money raised so far this year has decreased.
“We've consistently led the world in community participation for St Baldrick's Foundation. This is the first time in 10 years we won't even come close. We really need to drum up participation and support,” he said.
For example, the Raleigh, NC location of Napper Tandy's has $235,206 in online donations. By comparison, the Northport Napper Tandy's event has just under $60,000 in online donations.
It’s easy to find a person or an event to support, he said. Go to the St. Baldrick’s web site and search by venue or team or name or even search for a child with cancer to support.
Why not support Team 'Jen's Ducks,' which honors Jennifer Accardo who was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma at age 14 and passed away last year at age 20.
Or how about E teacher John Braun, who has agreed to wear his family tartan (kilt) on St. Baldrick’s Day if students will rally around his campaign.
Want to throw you support behind a female shavee? The entire Connor family of Northport, including mom Amy and sixth-grader Sarah, plan to shave their heads and have raised just $1,293 of their $1,500 goal.
The top local fundraisers so far include "B McD" of Team McDonald with over $2,500. Also, the Northport Lacrosse Team has raised $5,380 with Team Captain Michael Boland responsible for $1,390 of that.
Wondering what you would like bald? Download the free iPhone, iPad or iTouch app and find out. (Editor's Note: I tried this. See photo attached to this article! Not a good look. I will be sponsoring a shavee instead.)
If you are unable to participate on the event day, in Northport is also accepting donations that will go to St. Baldrick's in exchange for green hair extensions.
Since its 2000 founding by Northport resident Tim Kenney, St. Baldrick’s events all over the world have raised St. Baldrick's donors and volunteers made possible over $14 million in funding for childhood cancer research in 2010. The not-for-profit's 2010 annual report is attached to this article in PDF form.
Legend has it that, Tim Kenny, with his partners, founded the organization a decade ago following what was supposed to be a one-time event with the goal of getting 17 men to raise $1,000 each by collecting donors and having their heads shaved. Instead of $17,000 they raised $104,000 and St. Baldrick's was born. It came to Northport the following year, making this year the tenth annual.
In addition to serving as a fundraiser, the act of head shaving also allows participants to show simpatico with kids who lose their hair as a result of chemotherapy.
(Editor's Note: A video of my three daughters, Maeve, Grace and Margo, having their heads shaved for St. Baldrick's Day in 2008 is attached to this article. It's hosted by youtube.com)