Nearly three dozen students, faculty members and community members from Lincoln-Way North High School will shave their heads Feb. 15 to raise money for childhood cancer research. The event will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. during the Lincoln-Way North vs. Lincoln-Way West basketball game.
Their goal is to raise $20,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization that funds childhood cancer research grants.
This is the fourth year Lincoln-Way North has staged a fundraiser for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
“It’s amazing how great the Lincoln-Way North Community has been the last three years,” said Lincoln-Way North teacher Coley O’Connell who is helping students organize the event. “Since 2010 we have raised over $45,000 for St. Baldrick’s and we should do great this year as well.”
Lincoln-Way North students started a St. Baldrick’s Club in 2010 when parent Jon Delvicario, whose family has been touched by cancer, approached O’Connell about hosting an event to help children stricken with cancer. Student Alyssa Breidigan, who has since graduated from North, got involved and helped form one of the first school-sponsored St. Baldrick’s Clubs in the United States.
To prepare for this year’s fundraiser, students began meeting in October to line up volunteers to shave their heads and to solicit donations from family, friends and local businesses.
So far, they have recruited 34 students, parents and faculty members to shave their heads during the boys’ basketball game on Feb. 15.
O’Connell’s own 8-year-old daughter, Olivia, will be assisting at the event.
“I want to help children with cancer to give them better lives,” she said.
Like the O’Connells and Delvicarios, most people who join the St. Baldrick’s effort know someone who has battled cancer, said O’Connell.
“Many of them have personal stories of friends and relatives who have battled cancer over the years,” he added. “It touches my heart to see so many students working for such a great cause.”
O’Connell is among those shaving his head Feb. 15. It will be the fourth consecutive year he has gone bald for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
“Cancer has affected my family quite a bit,” he said, explaining how he lost both grandfathers to the disease and how he and his wife both have cousins with cancer.
Now friends and family call him each year to find out when he’s going to shave his head so they can support him and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
Joining him in the barber chair this year will be teacher John Terry and students Tabatha Weckler, Kaelynn Moss, Alyssa Martin, Chris Cranston, Shawn MacDougall, Ben Connors, Frank Licka, Zack Bakouris, Kyle Weber, Marc Huladek, Alex Littleton, Collin Swaim, Dalton Hargrave, Danny McGee, Jaime Wail, Ryan Arnold, Amanda Kovacic, Celisse Pennington and Alec Lhotka.
Among the past shavees who are helping out at this year’s event are students Elizabeth Paluch, Becca Morris and Heather Sedivy.
For more information about their efforts, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and how you can support the Lincoln-Way North effort, visit http://www.stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/7763/20123.