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Braving the shave
St. Baldrick’s raises money and awareness for cancer research
The Student Center piazza was full of barbers and bald students on March 17 between 6-9 p.m,
Students shaved their heads for the university’s sixth annual St. Baldrick’s event, a fundraiser that raises money and awareness for childhood cancer research.
Student Programming Board (SPB) organized the event, which also featured a photo booth, carnival games and raffles for students to participate in.
Junior Abbie O’Neill, traditions and community chair for SPB, was in charge of organizing this year’s event. She took on the leadership role because supporting cancer research has always been “near and dear” to her heart.
“This event impacts the Quinnipiac community on more than one scale: it gets people involved and fundraising, but it also raises awareness because people walk around with shaved heads for the next few weeks,” O’Neill said. “What I like about this event is that it doesn’t just have an impact for one night, it has an impact for weeks following.”
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is the leading volunteer-driven fundraising event in the country for childhood cancer research. Many QU students have participated in the fundraiser year after year.
Senior Connor Hadley has shaved his head every year for the past four years at the event. He shaves in support of his mother and grandfather, who are both cancer survivors.
“St. Baldrick’s is really a one-of-a-kind event,” Hadley said. “It just seems like a really simple thing that I can do to stand in unity with these kids who may not have the choice in shaving their heads. My hair grows back pretty fast so it’s something that I would willingly give up.”
Sophomore Noah Buck has also shaved his head four times at the event, starting in high school in solidarity with his swim team.
“People usually say ‘oh my god you’re bald’ and they make fun of me a bit,” he said. “I just say it’s for the kids and raising awareness. I love St. Baldrick’s; it’s a great cause and I love that so many other people are supporting it tonight.”
But some students experienced St. Baldrick’s for the first time at the March 17 event. One of those students is junior and SPB member Alex LaMagna.
LaMagna was inspired by the event’s top fundraiser, a young boy named Jacob who raised $715 and shaved his head in support of a family friend. On his online fundraising profile, Jacob wrote, “I am only one 11-year-old and can’t do much, but with all your help we can help find a cure.
“It was really touching that even a kid at such an impressionable age would still be willing to support [the cause],” said LaMagna. “It shows how big the event can be.”
She encourages people to participate next year, even if they haven’t done it before and even if they’re worried about how they’d look bald.
“Your hair grows back, so if you’re worried about formal or worried about looking good for certain things, you shouldn’t,” she said. “Just by participating or donating, you’re helping a lot more than you know. Don’t be afraid to get involved in these types of things because you can really make a difference as a member of the Quinnipiac community.”