Everyone has heard of St. Patrick, but have you heard of St. Baldrick?
Florida’s Irish and their friends support the St. Baldrick’s Foundation each year by having their heads shaved, by watching their friends have their heads shaved and by donating their time and money to raise funds for children’s cancer research.
On March 17, 2000, New York reinsurance executives Tim Kenny, John Bender and Enda McDonnell turned their industry’s St. Patrick’s Day party into a benefit for kids with cancer. The three planned to raise "$17,000 on the 17th" by recruiting 17 colleagues to have their heads shaved to raise $1,000 each to be shorn. Instead, the first St. Baldrick’s event raised over $104,000! The annual event took on a life of its own and quickly grew into the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising program for childhood cancer research! The St. Baldrick’s Foundation name is a play on the words Bald and Patrick – going bald on St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Baldrick’s Foundation website: http://www.stbaldricks.org
The Foundation now funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government. Since 2000, events have taken place in 28 countries and 50 US states, raising over $87 million. More than 144,000 volunteers, including over 12,000 women, have shaved their heads in solidarity with children with cancer, while requesting donations of support from friends and family! At a St. Baldrick’s event, something amazing happens: people who normally shy away from even the very thought of childhood cancer find themselves compelled to support this cause after looking into the faces of these brave children who are beaming as their friends and family members proudly display their newly shorn heads. Volunteers and donors have fun while supporting a serious and worthy cause.
Video of the 2009 St. Baldrick’s event at Slainte Irish Pub in Boynton Beach, Florida
In 2010, Florida’s 22 separate St. Baldrick’s events
shaved 944 heads and raised $541,297.44
for children’s cancer research.