St. Baldrick's fundraisers
Head-shaving events coming up in the next nine days. Events are in Boulder unless otherwise noted:
• North Metro Fire Rescue District event, 11 a.m to 5 p.m. at The Old Man Tavern, 4381 W. 120th Ave., Broomfield
• Sanitas Brewing Co. event, 2 to 7 p.m. at the taproom, 3550 Frontier Ave.
• University of Colorado event presented by The Herd, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., University Memorial Center fountain.
• Boulder High School event, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., 1604 Arapahoe Ave.
• Celestial Seasonings event, 9 a.m., 4600 Sleepytime Drive
For more information or to find other events, visit stbaldricks.org.
Bald is in this month as a host of events take aim at raising money for childhood cancer research — as well as shaving plenty of tresses.
The clippers are coming out for the St. Baldrick's Foundation. The sole mission of the foundation — created in 2004 and born from fundraising head-shavings that started in New York in 2000 — is childhood cancer research.
Shavees raise money by collecting donations in exchange for going bald. They can set up fundraising pages through the St. Baldrick's Foundation or can accept donations the day of their head-shaving event.
Boulder resident Mike McGoey stumbled across a St. Baldrick's flyer when his son was a toddler. He said he thought about the prospect of his child being diagnosed with cancer and decided to get involved.
In 2005, McGoey, a University of Colorado graduate, moved back to Boulder to find the city devoid of St. Baldrick's events. He decided to change that and started a local event.
"Collectively, over those 15 years, we've raised over $1.8 million by shaving over 4,000 heads. And that's just in Boulder," said McGoey, who works for Twitter.
St. Baldrick's events have since caught hold across the country and a number of head-shaving parties are held across the region, including five in Boulder and Broomfield in the next nine days.
The Herd, a campus group promoting University of Colorado student camaraderie, has held head-shaving events for years and this year is part of the St. Baldrick's Foundation Battle of the Bald college tournament. The Herd has set a fundraising goal of $25,000 for the tournament that was won last year by Midwestern University, which raised more than $82,000.
The CU event is held at the University Memorial Center fountain, which gives it a high profile on the bustling campus.
"It's a good location because it's central and it's outside and we just feel like we can get the most student involvement," said Isabella Carbone, sophomore philanthropy chair of The Herd.
Carbone's involvement with St. Baldrick's fundraisers started in high school. Her best friend was diagnosed with leukemia in eighth grade, so the two planned events and raised $30,000 over the course of three years.
McGoey said the CU fundraiser attracts shavees who register before the event, as well as "students that are just making their way to class and they get shaved right there and then."
Sara Abdulla, The Herd program manager, said the St. Baldrick's event is a good way of "getting students to think about giving back."
Celestial Seasonings also has hosted events for years and will do so again on March 16.
The tea company's involvement stretches back to McGoey's early efforts to start St. Baldrick's events in Boulder.
"One of the ideas I had was to reach out to the natural food companies in and around Boulder, to see if I could get them to come out and sponsor," McGoey said. "Right off the bat, Celestial stepped up and decided not only to help sponsor ... and provide tea at the event, but to form a team of shavees to participate."
Those who go bald are doing more than just losing their hair.
"What's most meaningful to me, is to see the people in our community who choose to go bald," McGoey said. "We're asking people to sacrifice something of themselves to make a difference for someone else."
Carbone said, "I think that they just make the children and parents that have to go through this feel really included. (It makes kids) feel super special, and that they're not alone in this journey."