Shaving for a good cause.
Locals with love in their hearts showed up to get their heads shaved in conjunction with the borough’s annual St. Baldrick’s Day on Saturday, March 17 at Bar 200 Fifth, 200 Fifth Avenue, to raise money for children fighting cancer
Volunteer for the event and member of the Knights of Pythias Avery Marder, who raised $1,000 himself for the event, discussed the significance of the foundation.
“The St. Baldrick’s Foundation raises money all year long but around St. Patrick’s Day, they run these events where they get people like myself to volunteer as a team leader and we go around trying to get all of our friends and relatives to make donations for us to shave our heads,” he said. “All the money raised goes to childhood cancer research. We shave our heads to stand in solidarity with the kids that are losing their hair so we have children that are the champions of our group, so they can see that we’re not just raising funds, but standing with them by going completely bald. It’s a nice feeling and the kids appreciate it.”
Although there aren’t official numbers for this year’s donations, last year’s event raised around $25,000-$30,000, with money raised from events taking place across the country totaling $2 to $3 million, according to Marder.
“The money goes to the actual charity,” he stressed. “Very little goes to administration and that’s why I got involved.”
According to Marder, the group that he is involved with started as a bunch of college friends around 10 years ago. “They just wanted to have something where they could raise funds,” he said. “Some have a relative that had cancer and thought this was a good cause, and I hooked up with them.”
The day was another huge success.
“About 20 people had their heads shaved and well over 100 people came,” Marder said. “The Guinness was flowing like every year. It’s great to get together with buddies for a great cause.”
The day was personal for most involved. “They either have relatives or knew a child that had cancer and sadly some didn’t make it,” Marder said. “I have a personal connection, not that I have anyone in my family that had cancer, but my daughter did pass away five years ago so I always do it in memory of her. Everyone has their own reasons to do it.”
The tradition will continue for Marder and the group.
“I’ll keep going as long as I’m growing hair,” he said. “It’s very heartwarming. I like doing charitable things, especially when it’s for children.”