Last year, Henry Horne '20 and his brother, Peter '18, introduced the Taft community to the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a volunteer and donor powered charity dedicated to funding promising research into cures for childhood cancers. Working with Taft's Community Service Board, Peter and Henry planned an afternoon of fun, solidarity, education, and support, all built around the Foundation's signature activity: shaving heads to raise funds for the cause. This Sunday, February 24, St. Baldrick's comes back to Taft.
"It is something that's very important to me," says Henry. "In the span of my upbringing, at least three children in my hometown have battled cancer. It brought the community together in ways unimaginable."
Henry hopes the Taft community will come together around the cause, as well. Volunteer barbers and stylists will be on hand in the Choral Room between 12 pm and 2 pm on Sunday. There will also be music, donuts, and plenty of Non ut sibi spirit. Those with longer hair who prefer not to shave their heads completely can still participate: Stylists will snip ponytails of eight inches or more for donation to Children With Hair Loss, a nonprofit organization offering no-cost, human hair replacements to children and young adults facing medically-related hair loss.
Members of the Taft community—students, staff, and faculty, and families alike—can sign up to participate in the event. All are invited to support those shearing their locks by donating to Taft's St. Baldrick's event, and by showing up Sunday to share in the fun.
Though saintly in its mission, St. Baldrick's has no ecclesiastical ties. St. Baldrick is a portmanteau, marrying bald, shaven heads with St. Patrick's Day revelry. The idea was born in 1999 with three New York businessmen looking for a way to share their good fortune. It came to fruition the following year at a St. Patrick's Day party at a pub in Manhattan. The first-year goal of shaving 17 heads and raising $17,000 turned into 19 bald heads and $104,000 donated to fund the research of the Children's Oncology Group. Since their incorporation as an independent foundation in 2005, St. Baldrick's has raised more than $234 million for research into curing childhood cancers. Learn more at stbaldricks.org.