The Eleventh Annual St. Baldrick’s event was held on March 8th in Virginia Beach at the Westin Town Center. This amazing fundraiser supports the St. Baldrick’s Foundation; participants raise money and shave their heads to support childhood cancer research. The event emcee Rick Rumble of FM99, kept the energy high and the pace of shaving swift, Astro DJ provided the music that helped our Great Clips stylists buzz along. Shave after shavee lined up ready to “Be Brave and Go Bald” for kids with cancer.
The Hampton roads event was founded by Ed and Mary Bennett, in memory of their son David, who lost his battle with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer in 2003. We were honored to have Ed, Mary and David’s brother Chris join us for the day as they manned the registration and cashiering areas. Many repeat shavees also joined us and created an energetic team competition. The Red Sparkle Octopus Crusaders won the top spot for team donations bringing in an amazing $17,116. David Gosser, the event’s top fundraiser is also a member of the team.
Other top teams were Yes way José, and Team Averi. These teams all shave in memory of children who did not survive their cancers. Their desire is to do everything they can to promote research so no other family will experience their loss. They shave in memory of Tommy Gosser, Nina Hermes, Kristina Kral, Amaya Sims, and Jose Hernandez, and Averi Valdivieso.
Team Yes Way José. Javier Hernandez, wife Laura (middle) and daughter Ana Paula.
There were also lots of first time shavees, like Stacey Laramore of Team Ironman Ian, who was the second highest individual fundraiser. Stacey’s other family members have shaved in prior years; husband Nemo, and sons Townsend and Ian. Ian is a cancer survivor. Other teams and shavees represented other cancer patients, civic organizations, companies, and schools, our youngest shavees were school age children. They were joined by doctors, nurses, and other supporting the pediatric cancer community.
“It’s just hair, right?” Stacey Larmore (Ian’s Mom). Photo courtesy of Thomas Gorman Photography
“No turning back now!” Ian Larmore (Team Ironman Ian) shaves Nurse Brenda Yetter. Photo courtesy of Thomas Gorman Photography
“Brave, Bald and Beautiful!” Ian Larmore and Stacey Larmore. Photo courtesy of Thomas Gorman Photography
“Bald and proud!” Team Ironman Ian
One of the high points of the day was when Eric Lowe, M.D. and William Owen, M.D. stepped up onto the stage. Drs. Lowe and Owen are pediatric oncologists at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. This time the kids got to man the razors and it was payback time. Most children lose their hair due to the chemotherapy they are treated with, and these doctors give the kids a chance to make them bald. Children’s hospital treats more than 70 new cancer patients each year. St. Baldrick’s provides CHKD a major grant annually to support the research program there. While cancer remains the number one disease killer of children, advances in medicine through research have improved survival rates for children significantly.
Sarah and Dr Owen
In addition to shavees, an army of volunteers coordinate the event, now organized by Larry Woods. Special thanks to the premiere sponsors ABS Technology Architects, and Subsidium Healthcare. Eclipse Photography provided services so that shavees could have before and after pictures, and the Westin continued as an outstanding host, providing us the space for the event. The area Great Clips salons provided a team of skilled stylists who expertly shaved everyone and preserved hair for donation when requested.
In addition to shaving, a raffle and silent auction added to the fundraising effort. Also at the event was Sarah Swaim, 2012 St. Baldrick’s National Ambassador, representing Headbands of Hope and organization for each headband sold – a headband is donated to a child with cancer and a dollar is donated to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Kelsey Canan from the St. Baldrick’s National Organization joined us for the day.
Larry proudly let all the volunteers and shavees know, “Because of you and your hard efforts, we have concluded another fantastic event here in Hampton Roads. Our totals for the event come to an astounding $121,940.00. That is a number to be extremely proud of.”
At the end of the day, 178 participants shaved their heads. If you would like to support the Hampton Roads event it is not too late! Go to hrgoesbald.com to donate.
Article and photos submitted by Marion Swaim, Event Organizing Committee
Team Men Giving Back. From left to right: Chris Pupke, Gary Bull, Aaron Bull
Front row left to right Melia Trost, Ellen Trost, Erin Trost. Second Row left to right Jordan Anderson, Joseph Trost, Carl Trost and Ann Marie Trost
Aaron Bull and wife, Kay Bull