St. Baldrick’s Returns

Zahia Khan, Scribe Reporter

Carlos Segura

The highly anticipated St. Baldrick’s event returned to Schaumburg High School after its temporary hiatus. SHS students and staff lined up to shave heads and donate money to help combat pediatric cancer.

In spite of the many difficulties COVID 19 presented, there were no problems with raising donations for St. Baldricks. Schaumburg High School students raised a total of $70,711, surpassing the goal of $50,000. 

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer and donor-powered charity committed to supporting research regarding cures for cancer. With the powers of fundraising, encouraging school spirit, shaving heads, and donating hair, SHS remains committed to supporting the St. Baldrick’s event as it returns biannually. Including the event from this year, seven St Baldrick’s events have been held at SHS that have raised a combined total of $600,497.

All the money raised for charity comes from the efforts of many. It takes multiple people to put together a St. Baldrick’s event. From individuals, departments, families, and administration, there are groups everywhere that rally together to make a difference for the same cause. 

“The way that the students and staff embrace St. Baldrick’s at SHS is incredible. The involvement in this event says a lot about the character of our students and staff at Schaumburg High School and the value that we place on supporting one another in our community,” SHS principal, Mr. Harlan stated. “Seeing the positive impact that we can have when we come together for a common positive cause is simply overwhelming.”

Teachers, students, and parents alike contribute to St. Baldrick’s in their own special ways. Mr. Swolski,  one of the counselors at SHS, believes that St. Baldrick’s is truly an opportunity for the SHS community to come together for a cause bigger than us. 

“For SHS to consistently raise the funds we do in such a short time, that’s a testament to the dedication of the adults coordinating, and the students driving the fundraising efforts,” Swolski said. 

There were countless ways that members of the SHS community provided support and donations for St. Baldrick’s during the week of the event. There were various bake sales dedicated to fundraising for St. Baldrick’s, such as the math department’s bake sale. Some teachers also sold green necklaces, hats, and shutter glasses throughout the week in order to raise money for St. Baldrick’s. Any donation is crucial, as all of the money raised for St. Baldrick’s goes into finding a cure for cancer.  

St. Baldrick’s participants and organizers proudly display the nearly $70,000 in fundraising. (Courtesy of Carlos Segura)

The main focus of St. Baldrick’s is to bring light to the struggles of those currently experiencing—or who have experienced—pediatric cancer. A major part of the school spirit for St. Baldrick’s comes from people’s commitment to helping those with cancer. 

“Nearly everyone in our school has been affected, known someone, who has battled cancer,” Ms. Haas, an SHS social worker and the co-organizer of the event commented.  “It is a universal concern. Our school has rallied together for EVERY single St. Baldrick’s event we have had.  Our school cares about people…the Honored Kids in our community who are or have battled cancer, our families or friends who have battled or lost someone to their battle. There is no better example of SHS pulling together for others.” 

For people like Mr. Swolski, their dedication and participation in St. Baldrick’s is specifically dedicated to specific people that they know who have had battles with cancer.  

“One of my students was diagnosed in 2017 with Rhabdomyosarcoma, and unfortunately, we lost him in 2019. Now, I shave in memory of Blake, and in honor of all those continuing their fight.” 

Students also hold personal reasons for wanting to contribute to St. Baldrick’s. Izzy Callero, a current senior at SHS, has had multiple family members who have lost their hair as well as their battle to cancer. This was one of the many ways Izzy wanted to show support for them and the community. 

“It really shows that we as a community can come together and help make a change,” Callero said. 

However, as smoothly as St. Baldrick’s may have gone, there were some unique difficulties present in the planning stages of St. Baldrick’s this year. Mrs. Haas noted that this year’s greatest difficulty in organizing St. Baldrick’s was the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic. She states, “We didn’t know until late January that we could have the event, which left us little time to plan compared to years past when we’d start in November or December. Then, as mitigations changed, our plans were altered.  Where our shaving would take place changed three times the month prior to our event.”

“Cancer is real, Cancer sucks and if we can do something to help them find a cure—let’s keep doing it!” Mrs. Haas expressed, “Is it really that hard to give up your hair as a way to show your support for a kid battling cancer?” 

Consider starting to grow your hair now to lose in 2024 at the next St. Baldrick’s event!

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