St. Mark Community Ready To Brave Shave Once Again
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research, will host one of its signature head-shaving events for the sixth year at St. Mark School in Cleveland on March 22, 2019, where over 80 students, staff, parents, and other family members will shave their heads in solidarity with kids with cancer and raise money to conquer childhood cancers.
St. Mark’s Shave Your Mane events have raised over $250,000 in last five years and have seen 500 heads of students, parents, staff and alumni shaved. This year, organizers hope to add another $50,000 to that total. The school is more than halfway to meeting that goal. Besides soliciting donations from the community and local businesses, participants are also holding bake sales and restaurant fundraisers in support of St. Baldrick’s and the Shave Your Mane event. Hair salon Dante Lucci is donating many of the stylists to shave heads.
“Hosting our events have increased awareness not only for myself but for hundreds of people who may not have become involved otherwise and now are crusaders to the cause of pediatric cancer research,” said Heidi Martin, who served as the event’s organizer its first five years. Martin was inspired to stage St. Mark’s first St. Baldrick’s shave event in 2014 by her young nephew who died at 17 months from a rare pediatric cancer. Martin knows she and the organizers are not done.
“There are more people to reach and more events to create awareness through because that awareness is what creates research dollars, and research dollars create hope for all these kids and their families. I also dream that some of our shavees may even consider a career for themselves in medicine one day and possibly make a significant contribution of their own to find a cure, improve outcomes and treatments to support the St Baldrick's mission.”
Martin’s nephew, Gavin Cole, will be one of the 13 honorees this year. Some, like Gavin, have sadly already lost their battle. Also among the honorees is organizer Julie Andolina’s daughter and St. Mark student Gianna, whose cancer is currently in remission.
Fox 8 News anchor Autumn Zemba will serve as emcee of the event. Zemba’s son Simon is battling leukemia. Speakers will include Alex Huang, MD, PhD, cancer researcher at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Institute.
Worldwide a child is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes, and one in five children diagnosed in the U.S. will not survive. Only 4 percent of all federal cancer research funding is dedicated to pediatric cancer research.
If you would like to contribute to the St. Mark event, visit www.stbaldricks.org/events/StMark2019.