Braving the shave raises $40,000 for child sun safe scheme
Charity fundraisers who “braved the shave” in aid of childhood cancer research have so far raised more than $40,000.
Fundraising efforts for the annual St Baldrick’s Day event, where participants cut or completely shave their heads to raise cash, were hindered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Organisers usually set a goal of $100,000 but with donations still open, it is hoped more funds will flow in over the coming weeks.
Cheyra Bell, chairwoman for the St Baldrick’s Day Bermuda committee, said that despite lower participation, the event was a success under the circumstances.
Ms Bell said: “This year we moved back to a traditional [in-person] event so we weren’t sure how it would go as it relates to fundraising but I think we did fairly well considering.
“We were very pleased with the way things went – we did have kids who participated again this year including two young sisters and a father and daughter.
“We always have kids involved, which is something I admire – one of the sisters was having her hair cut for the first time.
“We usually have schools involved including Saltus, which has been a huge contributor over the years. Hopefully, next year it will be normalised, we will have more people involved and we can hit and exceed our goal.
“Anybody can donate and if people feel inspired towards a good cause – childhood cancer research – I encourage that.”
There were about 20 participants in the 21st annual event, which took place at Docksider Pub and Restaurant on St Patrick’s Day.
Attendance was limited to 100 people owing to Covid-19 restrictions but there was a steady flow of supporters who came through the doors throughout the evening.
The event raises funds for the St Baldrick’s Foundation, which provides the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre with an annual grant to support its SunSmart Programme.
SunSmart provides free education and summer camps for schoolchildren to raise awareness about the importance of practising “sun safe” behaviours while outdoors to reduce the risk of developing skin cancers.
A spokeswoman for Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre said: “Here in Bermuda, we are celebrating 21 years of involvement with St Baldrick’s and during that time have raised over $7.4 million for childhood cancer research.
“We encourage anyone to make a donation to a participant.”
According to the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre information, worldwide, a child is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes.
The Baldrick’s Foundation is the largest non-government fundraiser of childhood cancer research grants and has raised $314m to find cures to help prolong life.
The centre said: “As a result of research supported by St Baldrick’s, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug that drastically increases the cure rate for high-risk neuroblastoma patients.
“It’s only the third approved drug in 20 years made specifically for kids with cancer. In June 2021, St Baldrick’s needed $9.4 million if they were to fund every grant application that received an outstanding score but only $3.5 million was available and granted. A few dollars donated today can give a child a longer lifetime.“
Donations can be made online here or in person at the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre at 46 Point Finger Road, Devonshire.