St. Baldrick’s raises record amount

Katherine Rojas

The Student Programming Board and the Quinnipiac Irish Club hosted its third St. Baldrick’s fundraising last night in Burt Kahn court where students donated money to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for childhood cancer research.

The evening filled up throughout the night with intrigued students and anxious volunteers to shave their heads in support of the fundraiser. While most people prepared for this image change, others decided to join last minute.

“There are a lot of people who came who didn’t have plans to shave their heads, but they were all so caught up in the spirit that they’re like jumping up there and getting their heads shaved too,” said Kat Johnson, SPB co-chair and junior.

103 students registered to shave their head before the event, however there were many walk-ins. In addition, around 40 females volunteered to donate their hair.

[media-credit name=”Katie O” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]“It’s more of like a celebration for a cause, it’s always more upbeat,” said Kristin Cagney, traditions & community chair and junior.

It was a bright atmosphere as students smiled and laughed, covering their faces with their hands as their friends bravely step on stage to shave their head. Supporters held up their phones recording this intense moment.

There were many students who knew what to expect from this event, like sophomore Kevin Carroll, this being his second year participating in St. Baldrick’s.

“I think it’s an awesome cause, and I think everybody should do it because I look worst bald than anybody, and these people don’t get to choose whether or not they get to have hair, so it’s definitely a good cause, something everybody should get involved in,” Carroll said.

Carroll lost a close friend to cancer in high school and his grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I do it in memory of them, I think of them when I’m up there and selflessly get rid of my hair, as much as I love it,” Carroll said.

“I donated what was in my wallet: $11, as a broke college student I hope they understand that’s what I can give. But I did the best I could,” Carroll said.

Freshman Tim Mallach has two friends from home that he graduated with who battled with cancer. It’s his first time participating in St. Baldrick’s and he definitely plans on doing it more in the future, he said.

“I do it for them, I have them in mind,” Mallach said.

Junior and physical therapy major Liz Pinzon shaved her head last year for St. Baldrick’s at her home and raised $4,000 with the help of family and friends.

Her interest in cancer research started when she was 9 years old, when her grandmother passed away from a battle with cancer.

It was her senior year in high school when she discovered St. Baldrick’s, and was inspired by the school librarian.

Freshmen year of college, she donated her hair for the fifth time to Locks of Love and started mentally preparing myself for the best time to shave my head would be.

“It’s sad to think that in a society hair is a symbol of beauty, of authority, of status,” Pinzon said. “Vanity isn’t everything, it’s what’s inside that really matters. True beauty is so much more than skin deep.”

When she shaved her head she was all smiles, from ear-to-ear.

“I was so excited to be able to put myself in that position where it looked as though I had cancer and to experience how the other half feels, to put myself in someone elses shoes for once,” Pinzon said. “It’s a really humbling experience, you don’t realize it until you do it.”

The first year of St. Baldrick’s at Quinnipiac had 30 men and one female who shaved their heads. However, last year 115 students shaved their heads and the event raised close to $29,000.

According to Cagney, the goal was to raise $15,000 this year.

As of 7:47 p.m., the St. Baldrick’s event raised $37,427.63. The total amount will be calculated in about two weeks.

“We just set a record tonight and it speaks volumes of the type of students that come to Quinnipiac,” Cagney said.

The donations come from registered students, walk-ins and supporters.

“More important than the money is seeing all of these men with their shaved heads and they just really are standing in solidarity with these kids that have cancer and it’s such a beautiful thing to watch them give up their own vanity for the sake of helping a child, it’s so beautiful,” Johnson said.