The ‘Great Shave’ took place in the Loras College ACC ballrooms on Sunday, March 26, as part of the first time that Loras has hosted the St. Baldrick’s event. The event featured volunteers that offered up their hair to raise money for pediatric cancer research, as well as Irish dancing, a photo booth, raffle prizes and representatives from various other related philanthropic campus organizations.
Who was Saint Baldrick? What is he the patron saint of? Well, St. Baldrick is not a canonized saint in Catholic religion. Rather, St. Baldrick’s is the name of the pediatric cancer research fundraising foundation formed in 1999 by businessmen who wished to give back to the world in return for their good fortune. An idea was formed; shaving heads to raise money for children with cancer. The first-ever St. Baldrick’s event was hosted by these businessmen on St. Patrick’s Day the following year. 17 years later, Loras College hosted its first ever St. Baldrick’s event.
The event began in traditional Irish fashion, reminiscent of its historical roots, with Irish dancers performing and shamrocks decorating the walls of the ACC ballrooms. The dance number ended in a round of applause and before long, the stage that the Irish dancers performed on was transformed into a mobile barber shop, complete with chairs, clippers, and stylists who volunteered from local hair salons and Capri College. Designated shavees were brought up to the stage, and the ‘Great Shave’ began. In total, upwards of 30 participants from Loras College and the surrounding community shaved their heads to support pediatric cancer. A number of shavees and non-shavees fundraised for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, yet raising funds was not the only way to support the cause of furthering research of pediatric cancers.
Individuals were able to register at the event to shave their heads in efforts to show solidarity with children who have lost their hair. With a grand total of $10,600 raised to support cancer research, the first-ever Loras College hosted St. Baldrick’s event was a success. The ‘Great Shave’ event was well-received by the sports teams at Loras College, with an honorary shavee being none other than Associate Director of Athletics/Men’s and Women’s head soccer coach, Dan Rothert. A large number of the individuals in attendance for the ‘Great Shave’ event were athletes at Loras.
“St. Baldrick’s is a great organization because it gives the student athletes who are unable to attend Dance Marathon another way to give back to a great organization,” said Vice President of External Affairs for St. Baldrick’s at Loras, Allison Sprague. “The money all goes to the same goal and that is to end childhood cancer.”
Based off of its success in the first year of hosting, students at Loras College are hopeful and excited to see how this fledgling organization grows on campus. With a cause worth fighting for, such as fighting pediatric cancer, St. Baldrick’s at Loras College aspires to grow as an organization and gain more involvement in the future.