Home » Friday was REALLY crazy hair day at Bear Tavern as kids shaved heads for cancer fundraiser

Friday was REALLY crazy hair day at Bear Tavern as kids shaved heads for cancer fundraiser

by Amie Rukenstein
St. Baldricks Timberlane Middle School Hopewell, NJ

2023 marks the sixteenth anniversary of the annual St. Baldrick’s Day community event to raise funds to fight children’s cancer. The cumulative fundraising of this annual turnout has surpassed $1.6 million and continues to grow. Originated by local chiropractors Doctors Michael and Melissa McCue, this event honors children affected by cancer and includes a ceremonial shaving of heads to stand in solidarity with children in the midst of cancer treatment.

Will Somma and Brady Knisley prepare to be shorn by teachers Bryanna Mac Adams and Christina Virtuccio, and Pierre of Gold Star haircutting in Ewing. (Photo by Samantha Harley).

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s top school this year is the Hopewell Valley’s Bear Tavern Elementary School. Led by Principal Chris Turnbull, they are Lawrenceville St. Baldrick’s largest team ever with 41 shavers participating! They raised close to $24,000 of the $103,000 raised for St. Baldrick’s this year and had their head-shaving event this past Friday at their school. 

Tracy Kocsis, St. Baldrick’s media contact said that the Bear Tavern school team, now in its eighth year, gained momentum during the pandemic, organizing a festive hybrid shave event, and setting a great example for how young students can stand in solidarity with children facing a cancer diagnosis. “Our total fundraising goal for 2023 was $75,000, so we are very proud of the participants’ efforts,” she said. 

Kocsis explained the St. Baldrick’s mission: “Every two minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer worldwide, and in the US, one in five kids diagnosed won’t survive. Those who do survive, often suffer long-term effects from treatments too harsh for their developing bodies. From its beginnings, St. Baldrick’s has believed that kids deserve the chance to be kids – fun-loving, carefree, refreshingly honest, and always a little goofy – and deserve the chance at a healthy future. That’s why St. Baldrick’s is dedicated to funding the best childhood cancer research, wherever it takes place. Donations raised at events like this have made it possible for St. Baldrick’s to fund more than $325 million, making it the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants.”

All photos in the gallery by Seth Siditsky – many thanks to him and to Cat Hogan for sending them to MercerMe. Click on photos to embiggen.

In the featured photo: Chloe Hogan gave up her pigtails to help kids with cancer at Friday’s Bear Tavern St. Baldrick’s Day event. Making the cut is Pierre, of Gold Star hair cutting in Ewing, pigtail catcher is Bear Tavern music teacher Bryana MacAdams.(Photo by Seth Siditsky)

Visit Stbaldricks.org/get-involved to learn more.

About St. Baldrick’s Foundation – As the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation believes that kids are special and deserve to be treated that way. St. Baldrick’s is leading the charge to take childhood back from cancer by funding some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts who are working to find cures and better treatments for all childhood cancers. Kids need treatments as unique as they are – and that starts with funding research just for them. Join StBaldricks.org to help support the best cancer treatment for kids. #GiveKidsaLifetime

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