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St. Baldrick’s shaves heads for cancer

St. Baldricks Devin Ferrell Sophomores Creed Feigt and Derek Turlay get their heads shaved for a second time at the St. Baldricks Foundation fundraiser. Devin Ferrell/The Arbiter

St. Baldrick’s Foundation held their third annual  head shaving event in the Taylor Hall quad Friday, March 14. The event began with speakers giving their stories about their experiences with cancer, elaborating on why this event was so important for the research of childhood cancer.

Hosting the event was the radio station 103.5 Kiss FM, which provided the emcee for the afternoon. At 2:30 p.m., the first groups of six volunteers sat down in the chairs while the emcee interviewed the volunteers. After the initial shave on stage, the volunteers were taken aside to another barber to give the finishing touches. All of the volunteers took a before and after picture where, instead of the usual “Say Cheese!”  they used the more appropriate “Baaa!”

One of the first students to shave their head was freshman Abdul Rahman, a civil engineering major, who said that this was his first time shaving his head for St. Baldrick’s.

“I’ve lost two people to cancer, so I want the kids to feel that they’re not alone in this—I think that this is a great place to do it,” Rahman said.

Naomi Plummer, a student at Oliver Finley’s Academy of Cosmetology, volunteered to shave participants’ heads.

“This was my first time doing this kind of thing, and I lost my grandmother to cancer,  so I was really nervous that it would be too emotional,” Plummer said. “I met a lot of people that were particular about their beards—I could shave their head but not the beard.”

The event was moved inside due to the rain, but it did nothing to hamper the enthusiasm of the crowd. Aubrie Gribble, a senior elementary special education major, planned and coordinated Friday’s event, as well as the previous two St. Baldrick’s events at Boise State.

“When I found out about St. Baldrick’s Foundation I found out that every three minutes, a child is diagnosed with cancer, and 1 in 5 of those children will eventually die. They can’t fight cancer alone so that’s why I got involved, to bring awareness of childhood cancer to the community,” Gribble said.

Last year, the event had the goal of raising $5,000, eventually surpassing that, raising $10,000. This year, the organization had a goal of raising $15,000, with $8,000 raised before the event.

Betty Clark, a junior elementary education major, expects this year will be another success for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

“It was definitely a success this year,”  Clark said.  “We had a lot of people shave (their heads), without having signed up before hand.”

According to their Facebook page, the St. Baldrick’s foundation shaved 46 heads at the event.

Before the official count is completed, Clark expects the money raised will reach their goal of $15,000.

“The motivation and hard work of the volunteers involved definitely changed the way it went this year,” Clark said.