The St. Baldrick’s head shaving event started as a challenge between businessmen and has now spread to pubs, restaurants, churches and for the second consecutive year after a four year hiatus, Fairfield.
The “Brave the Shave” event will be held on April 15 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m in the Oak Room.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises money for childhood cancer research. The head shaving event has grown from one event in 2000 to now over 1,300 events, according to their website.
Several students who participated in the event last year have chosen to return again this year, saying the event is an enjoyable way to give back to part of the community.
Junior Tyler Ostrowski said, “I got involved because it’s just an all around great cause. The event itself is fun, and it’s a great way to bring a diverse group of people on campus together.”
Sophomore Brendan Hunt is in charge of the event and said that last year, Fairfield was able to raise just over $1,520, surpassing their goal of $1,000. This year the school has set a $2,000 goal and thus far, 19 donors and participants have raised a total of $472.
Ostrowski said, “You don’t have to shave your head to become a part of this great cause, you can also donate or volunteer. Any little contribution helps.”
Sophomore Steven Boccia participated in last year’s event and plans to do the same this year. “I did St. Baldrick’s last year because the event hit home for me. I lost my grandpa to bone marrow cancer, my uncle is a prostate cancer survivor and my cousin has been undergoing cancer treatment since last year’s event.”
Boccia added that his favorite part of the experience is seeing all of the support the Fairfield community provides through donations and participation in the event.
“I just want the kids who weren’t given the choice to lose their hair to know that they’re not alone in this journey,” Boccia said.
The men are not only the ones shaving their heads for cancer research. According to their website, in 2016 so far, 6,424 females have shaved their heads to contribute to the total that exceeded $23 million.
Junior Carolina Manser said, “It’s such a wonderful cause and it’s great that we can all make an impact in childhood cancer research right here on campus. Almost everyone has been impacted by cancer through friends and family so this is a good way to be positive and make a difference in such a global problem.”
Students who did not participate last year said that they plan to contribute this year.
“This is such an amazing cause that I would encourage everyone to become a part of somehow. I did not participate in it last year, but I saw some pictures of the event about a week after and thought it was a great idea,” said Olivia Mansfield ‘17. “I will probably at least donate this year. Every little thing helps in a cause like childhood cancer.”
There will be many free giveaways at this year’s event. Hunt said, “At this year’s event, we’ll have brands represented by student ambassadors who [are] giving out free things such as stickers, shirts, etc. from companies like Vineyard Vines, Southern Tide, Donut Crazy and more.”
Those interested in participating in this event can visit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation website and type Fairfield University in the search bar to become part of the team.