Virginia Commonwealth University

“Shave me, I’m Irish” should be your slogan this year

Posted: March 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Bald Blog | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Sure, this blog is usually just a space for bald-related whining and self-deprecating jokes. Oh, and the occasional attempt at understanding medical science or the human psyche. But forget all that today, because ’tis the season to go bald for a reason. That’s right, St. Baldrick’s Day is approaching, and there are more serious afflictions than male-pattern baldness.

Note: The blog will go back to its normal, ridiculous form next week. Pinky swear.

But anyway, St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a charity organization that raises money to fight children’s cancer through head shaving events across the country. According to the official St. Baldrick’s website:

On March 17, 2000, reinsurance executives John Bender, Tim Kenny and Enda McDonnell turned their industry’s St. Patrick’s Day party into a head-shaving event to benefit kids with cancer. Their 20 “shavee” recruits planned to raise “$17,000 on the 17th.” Instead, they raised over $104,000!

From those modest beginnings grew a global craze, and they said that they have since raised over $90 million for the cause.

According to ABC 2 in Baltimore, the foundation has already raised $3 million this year alone.

And the cause is certainly one worth getting behind, and even shedding some hair for. According to the American Cancer Society last year:

About 10,700 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2010. Because of major treatment advances, 80% of these children will survive 5 years or more. This is a huge increase from before the 1970s, when the 5-year survival rate was less than 50%.

Despite its rarity and the major advances in treatment and supportive care, cancer is still the leading cause of death from disease in children younger than 15 years old. About 1,340 children are expected to die from cancer in 2010.

So seriously, what’s a little hair for a cause like this? After all, even Major League pitchers are doing it. And don’t say that it doesn’t count because they wear hats.

There are a couple St. Baldrick’s events here in Richmond this weekend. St. Patty’s Palooza is going on in Innsbrook to benefit the charity, and you can hit up if you want to sign up to be shaved or if you just want to help out.

And the Church Hill Irish Festival will also feature a shaving event and raise money for St. Baldricks. You can check that event out at the Facebook page.

The money raised by the head-shaving events goes to fund scholarships, fellowships, researchers, and more. If you donate, you can easily see where the money went on the official website.

So this St. Patrick’s Day, even though it’s hard to think of anything but green beer and whiskey, it might be time to think about a good cause like this. Besides, there’s a good chance you might wake up the next morning with a shaved head anyway.