Seventh annual St. Baldrick’s event to raise funds for life-saving research

OSWEGO, NY – St. Nick made his rounds in December. Last month, we celebrated St. Valentine’s Day.

Now, St. Baldrick’s is fast approaching.

It takes a community to cure childhood cancer. And, that is what organizers are hoping for.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research, will host one of its signature head-shaving events at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, 26 E. First St., starting at 6 p.m. on March 27.

Dozens of “shavees” will have their heads shaved in solidarity with kids with cancer and raise money for life-saving children’s cancer research, according to Dan Witmer, St. Baldrick’s volunteer event organizer and Oswego State Athletic Department Community Service Coordinator.

“St. Baldrick’s is ranked as one of the top charities regarding how much raised per dollar actually gets to the people it intends to help,” according to John Sheffield, a volunteer for the event. “There are several children in our own community who have fought and are fighting this terrible disease. In fact, there is one young community member who without the help of St. Baldrick’s would likely be dead today.”

The committee is looking for some “celebrity” head shavees, he noted.

Heidi Sheffield teaches English at OHS. She was one of a group of female teachers who had their heads shaved last year. This year, she is doing publicity for the event.

“If I can do it, anyone else certainly can,” she said of having her head shaved. “It’s a great cause.”

“I’ve organized annual St. Baldrick’s events in Oswego since 2007,” Witmer told Oswego County Today.

That year, they raised about $11,000. From 2008-2010 there were gradual increases between $14,000 – $23,000.

“In 2011, we raied approximately $27,000. And, last year (2012) we raised about $72,400. We hope to beat that figure this year,” he said.

Worldwide, more than 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year, and it remains the leading cause of death by disease among children in the United States.

With only 4 percent of all federal cancer research funding dedicated to pediatric cancer research, St. Baldrick’s Foundation grant funds are critical to continue the battle against this devastating disease.

For the seventh year, the Oswego event will be sponsored by the SUNY Oswego athletic department.

Pizza sales, raffles, and other specials are planned.

“And there’s more that we’re still working on,” said Witmer. “We’ve got a strong group of volunteers who have a lot of ideas and are willing to do the necessary legwork.”

In addition to signing up to be a shavee, individuals and organizations can help in other ways, too.

Donations are being sought for raffle prizes, business sponsorships can help add to the head-shaving event itself.

Anyone can make a personal donation or support an individual that’s volunteered to be a shavee.

For information, contact Witmer at [email protected]

More about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation

The St. Baldrick’s Foudation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and to give survivors long and healthy lives.

The foundation funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government.

St. Baldrick’s funds are granted to some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts in the world, and to younger professionals who will be the experts of tomorrow.

Funds awarded also enable hundreds of local institutions to participate in national pediatric cancer clinical trials, a child’s best hope for a cure.

For more information about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, call 1-800-899-BALD or visit