By ADAM FALLUJI – STAFF WRITER
For many of us, it’s easy to count our blessings. The opportunities we have at Centre are easy to take for granted. It’s important to remember that not everyone has the same kind of life we do, and do what we can to help those in need.
To this end, students at Centre excel in community service and fundraising. Students and faculty alike organize events throughout the year to raise money for those who need it.
One of the most highly anticipated and successful fundraising programs on campus is St. Baldrick’s Day, part of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for conquering childhood cancer. Every year, students participate in a head-shaving event to generate money for the organization.
Shaving one’s head is a difficult thing to do, but, to an extent, it allows the volunteers to put themselves in the shoes of those for whom they’re raising money.
“It’s the only time in my work with philanthropy and service that I actually put myself in an uncomfortable position for my cause, and that makes what you’re doing mean a whole lot more,” sophomore and Phi Kappa Tau’s former Philanthropy Chair Dexter Horne said. “A lot of the time you get into that trap of [thinking that] giving doesn’t mean anything because you’re so detached, but it brings you a lot closer to it when you actually get in their shoes.”
Horne is looking forward to shaving his head this year after volunteering last year and watching others do it. He views the fundraiser as a strong motivational tool: not the easiest thing to do, but a powerful way to fundraise.
Students won’t be the only ones participating, however. Assistant Professor of Philosophy Eva Cadavid and Visiting Instructor of French and Humanities Emily Cranford are also participating for the first time. Having the thought in the back of her mind after a student suggested participating years ago, Cadavid intended to participate last year after discussing it with Evening Circulation Librarian Jami Powell, but was unable to due to scheduling complications. This year Cadavid eagerly registered for the event as soon as possible, and after forming a Facebook page for her team, received an almost immediate response from Assistant Professor of Music Jaemi Loeb wishing to join.
Childhood cancer is a cause with growing support, but it is still under-represented in the world.
“We hear about breast cancer all the time and recently prostate cancer, too. We raise a lot of money for adult cancer, but St. Baldrick’s is one of the few organizations that does it for children,” Cadavid said.“I’ve had a number of very close family members battle cancer, and that’s really rough, but the last couple years I’ve been in contact with some little ones and thinking of children having to deal with what cancer does to a person’s body and life … it’s important, it’s really important.”
Cadavid’s team has so far raised over $3,000. Their contribution will be a hefty sum towards St. Baldrick’s, but their goal is set higher still.
“I don’t have all the money on my own to reach my goal, but if we all join together we can make a difference,” Cadavid said. “None of us can write the check on our own, but if all it takes is for us to lose our hair — just for a little bit — it’s worth it. I can donate hair and maybe help create wigs for the children, and if that brings the money in — great!”
Cadavid isn’t the only woman participating in the head shaving event. While men make up the majority of participants, this year women are well-represented.
“This is my first time participating. I have a cousin who had a brain tumor when he was one, so we’ve always been into Relay for Life and that kind of thing and this is for kids, and so I’m invested in that personally,” first-year Kenzie Bottoms said. “And I’m on the women’s team [of participants] which is cool. It’s not as big a deal for guys to shave their heads so it’s cool that we have enough people on board to encourage women to participate too.”
St. Baldricks represents a vital issue we face today. Cancer is a horrible thing, and the last people who should have to face it are children. Fundraising for the cause has a strong foundation on our campus, so be sure to support it and lend consideration to shaving your head next year. After all, it’ll grow back.