Students shave heads, raise money for childhood cancer research during basketball game

Lafayettes+Shave+for+the+Brave+event+exceeded+the+fundraising+goal+by+almost+%246%2C000.+%28Photo+by+Elle+Cox+21%29

Lafayette’s Shave for the Brave event exceeded the fundraising goal by almost $6,000. (Photo by Elle Cox ’21)

Morgan Maves

During halftime of the men’s basketball game, many Lafayette students, alumni and families from the Easton community gathered in the Kirby atrium for another important battle – to help defeat childhood cancer. This was Lafayette’s sixth annual Shave for the Brave fundraiser, which raised money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization which aims to raise money to find cures for childhood cancer.

“The goal tonight is about raising money,” said Susan Heard, one of the lead organizers of the event, which she co-led with freshman Brianna Bayly.

Heard’s son David was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2008, and passed away February of 2011.  She has been volunteering alongside her husband, who is a Lafayette alum ’91, since 2009. Living on College Hill, she has always felt connected with the Lafayette community. Before her son died, he asked her to keep shaving her head to raise money for St. Baldrick’s.

Throughout her time as a volunteer, she has shaved her head 14 times and said she’ll continue to shave it every year.

“Our goal tonight was $18,000, and that number was because my son, who we do this event in memory of, would have been 18 years old this year,” Heard said.

She was happy to report that they exceeded their goal by $6,000, ending their night with nearly $25,000.

The line of people who wanted to volunteer and donate money wrapped around the atrium. Some were laughing and others were somber, but the energy was high. Fifty-two brave individuals, two of whom were women, stepped up to have their heads shaved, both to show support for kids with cancer, who often lose their hair in treatment, and to raise money for research devoted to childhood and young adult cancers. Much of the men’s soccer and lacrosse teams, joined by some football players, were eager to give up their hair for this event.

Freshman Sam Fishbein, a member of the men’s track and field team, said he merely thought that it would be a fun experience, but was very happy he raised over $80 for St. Baldrick’s through the personal donation page he set up for this event.

Another volunteer who was shaven, junior Theresa Delahanty, a member of the women’s field hockey team, made an impulse decision to participate and said was glad she did it. She was overwhelmed by the experience and was texting her family to tell them about her new shaved haircut.

A family of five from Easton were all in tears when they got their heads shaved. They have been coming to this event for the past four years and have raised more than $1,300.

Many donated money, if not their hair. There was stiff competition among Lafayette’s athletic teams as to which could raise the most money.  For the second year in a row, women’s lacrosse raised the most out of the team, $2,600, followed by the men’s soccer team, which raised $1,815.

Worldwide, every 2 minutes, a child is diagnosed with cancer. More children die of cancer in the U.S. than any other disease, but most cancer research is aimed at adult cancers. St. Baldrick’s was founded in 2005 and has raised more than $232 million since then. It is the #1 private funder of childhood cancer research, and relies almost exclusively on volunteer fundraisers.