At least 120 heads will be shaved at the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena on Saturday in an effort to help fund children’s cancer research.
The region’s third St. Baldrick’s event, hosted by the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation, will begin at 3 p.m. and consist of about six licensed hairstylists — armed with only head shavers — buzzing the hair off a line of supportive donors.
“It’s an awesome event,” said Christy Smith, a member of the NNCCF’s board of directors. “It not only brings funding to child cancer research but it brings awareness to the disease and the lack of funding that it gets.”
Smith, the grandmother of cancer survivor Bailey Johnson, said many people don’t realize how big of a problem pediatric cancer really is.
“Most people are not aware that children’s cancer kills more children then AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis and diabetes combined,” she said.
In conjunction with the event, several locals have launched fundraising campaigns that are open to anyone willing to contribute to a good cause and watch their friends, teachers or coworkers go nearly bald.
Pete Sonntag, vice president and chief operating officer at Heavenly Mountain Resort, will shave his head for the cause as a member of the resort’s ski patrol team. His goal was to generate $1,000 for St. Baldrick’s, but that mark was already surpassed by about $200 Tuesday.
Similarly, Glen Gerrard, the Tahoe Valley Elementary School janitor, is offering to shave his trademark beard if supporters donate at least $1,000. He’s helping raise money with Seth Martin, a PE teacher at Sierra House Elementary School, who is also planning to shave his head when reaching a $1,000 fundraising goal.
Martin said the St. Baldrick’s event is a fun way for students to get involved and do something positive.
“It’s not supposed to a somber event,” he said. “It’s a fun environment and it’s for a good cause.”
Last year, the event raised about $50,000 in all. Smith expects to raise about the same amount this year, she said.
All donations go to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
Smith strongly encourages anyone willing to participate to register beforehand, although walk-ins are accepted, she said.
A $50 minimum donation is required of shavees, but spectators may also attend the event Saturday and donate as little, or as much, as they’d like.
For more information, contact Christy Smith at 775-691-7799.