Shaving it all off for a good cause



Staff and students joined together to raise money for the annual St. Baldrick‘s fundraiser day. This year’s event was held in the Main Gym. Nearly 20k was raised.

Faith Piercy, Staff Writer

East’s St. Baldrick’s “Saints Shave The Day” event took place on March 18, raising $19,837 towards cancer research, according to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
Six staff members, Mr. Baratta, Mr. Currie, Mr. Gutesha, Mr. Evans, Mr. Straiger and Mr. Vega shaved their heads last Friday, along with members of the boys basketball team and 15 other East students.
According to Currie, he and Mr. Gutesha “were the first teachers to participate when the event started six years ago,” and both have participated every year since. Currie raised cash in classrooms and had students put donations in jars, along with promoting on social media. Another teacher who participated in the event was Mr. Evans, who “raised about $1,700 with his son by making flyers and reaching out to people.”
One creative method of fundraising came from Luke Beckstrom, current senior at East. Beckstrom “made little QR codes to put at his job and school and give to family and friends.”
“It is a good cause,” Beckstrom said. “If shaving my hair and donating can raise a lot of money for cancer, then I’ll do it.”
Additionally, many other participants know someone in their life struggling with cancer, and wanted to show their support.
St. Baldrick’s foundation was created in 1999 when three colleagues, Tim Kenny, John Bender and Enda McDonnell, asked each other: “How will you give back in return for your own good fortune in business?” The idea of shaving their heads to raise money for children with cancer emerged, and a year later, the first event took place in Manhattan.
In 2004, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation was created to gain more volunteers in support of the best research for cures for those fighting cancer. Over the next several years, the foundation started giving out grants, awards, and support to more local institutions. They started programs to help students learn and perform research, and eventually, the first Pediatric Dream Team was formed.
In 2015, the FDA approved a new drug to help cure those with high-risk neuroblastoma, only the third drug approved in 20 years. Since then, St. Baldrick’s has continued to raise funding, now at $314 million.
To learn more about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and Shave the Day events, go to