Holy Trinity School in Avon was bustling on May 16 during the sixth annual “Brave the Bald” St. Baldrick event.
There was plenty of buzzing and braiding taking place as nearly 50 students and a few adults had their heads shaved in the gym. Meanwhile, in the hallway outside the gym, dozens of girls lined up to have their hair braided by volunteers for a $10 donation.
(See photo gallery above.)
The event is a fundraiser for the St. Baldrick Foundation, which raises money for childhood cancer research. So far, this year’s event has raised nearly $21,000.
Funds from the braiding station and sales of stationery packets featuring students’ artwork were donated to Smiles for Sophie Forever. The organization was founded by the parents of Sophie Quayle, an Avon Lake girl who died at age 4 after battling a brain tumor. Funds are used for families of children with brain cancer, to increase global awareness of pediatric brain tumor and to provide financial support to institutions and organizations committed to the treatment of pediatric brain cancer.
Student artists featured on the stationery were Taylor Lewis, Olivia Dyczek, Avery Kelly, Kate Gorney, Ava Sabataitis, Ella Lopez, Emma Sirl, Allie Roche, Fiona Mulcahy and Izzy Seighman.
For a $2 donation on May 12, students could dress down. Proceeds from the dress-down day also were donated to Smiles for Sophie Forever.
A few girls had their long hair cut short and then they donated the ponytails to an organization that makes wigs for young people such as Locks of Love and Wigs for Kids.
Noreen Woidke, the school nurse and organizer of the event since its inception, said the Holy Trinity community was very excited about the event. “We always do this near the end of the school year,” she said, noting everyone looks forward to it.
With upbeat music playing, those who were having their heads shaved ran through a rainbow arch of brightly colored balloons as they entered the gym wearing bright green shirts. They sat on folding chairs near the shaving stations and waited until their names were called and they were assigned to a barber’s chair.
Before the shaving began, the group quieted for announcements and a prayer offered. They also cheered on the preschoolers who entertained the group. Avon Mayor Bryan Jensen offered some remarks, expressed appreciation for a city employee who was among the shavees and commended Holy Trinity for the event. Two students sang a song and the shaving got underway.
Volunteer barbers and stylists – clipper and scissors in hand -- from Catanza’s Barber Shop, The Spot Barber Shop, Komplete Hair Works Hair Studio, Robert Patrick Salon and the Beauty Bar guided students into their assigned chair, clipped on a green cape and commenced shaving. A couple of volunteers scurried about sweeping up the clumps of hair that fell to the ground. The hair was placed in a clear plastic container that filled up as the event continued.
After they were shaved, students could have their heads sprayed with green paint and they could pose for a photo.
Within about 90 minutes, the shaving was finished and awards were presented to the top fundraisers. Taking place was Finn Williamson who raised $2,349. Oliver Dockery was second with $2,081.35; Mateo Villarosa was third with $1,911.84; Mac Smith was fourth with $1,669.09; Jacob Sirl was fifth with $1,003.04 and sixth was Ben Brogan with $1,000.37. After shooting off
Woidke also thanked the parents and other volunteers who helped set up before the event and clean up afterward.
This was her final year coordinating the event. “Next year, Kelly Shaker, a volunteer whose son is in junior high, will take over,” Woidke said.