Submitted by the APW Central School District
The thirteen members of the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown “Rebels Without A ‘Do” team have far exceeded their original goal of raising $5,000 for childhood cancer research through their participation in the St. Baldrick’s event at Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub & Restaurant in Syracuse. They have now topped $13,500 with more donations still coming in. What began in 2000 as a St. Patrick’s Day party head-shaving to benefit kids with cancer, St. Baldrick’s has quickly grown into the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising program for childhood cancer research.
“Cancer is a big bully, and we’re not going to stand by and let it pick on kids anymore. We’ve made a stand to say that our lives may be touched by cancer, but we will not live in fear of it, ignore it, or accept it. We’re here to fight it, and win!” said Jim Heffron, team captain and Principal at APW Middle School. Heffron, and several members of his team have participated in the annual event for the past three years, but this year he took it a step further. To bring awareness to the cause Heffron dyed his hair a nice “shamrock green” the week before the shaving event was to take place. Several other team members joined Heffron in the hair color change and two girls bravely stepped up to join the team and shave their heads. Brianna Karboski and Jillian Mueller not only shaved their heads for St. Baldrick’s they also donated their long tresses to “Locks of Love” following their turn in the barber’s chair. Karboski is also currently ranked third in fundraising through the Kitty Hoynes event, with over $6,000 brought in so far.
The team is made up of members of the APW “family” including staff members: team captain Heffron (APW Middle School Principal), Justin Halsey (high school math teacher), Todd LaValley (high school psychologist), Michael McAuliff (Parish Elementary School Principal), Dan Bryant (middle school PE teacher), Shaun Carter (middle school ELA teacher), and Vince Castellani (middle school special ed. teacher); APW students Brianna Karboski (6th grade), Michael Mueller (7th grade) and Jillian Mueller (4th grade); APW family members Ryan Heffron, Dylan Rivers and honorary member Michael Mueller Sr.
World-wide the Kitty Hoynes event is in the top three spots in donation totals and this year expects to bring in over $300,000. Sixty-eight teams participated in the local event.
Heffron knows the team will participate again next year and is grateful for the support of his school, community and family saying, “We’ll be back again next year, because we’re fighting for kids, we’re fighting for cures, and we’re fighting with you standing behind us.”