Surprise Shavee Highlights St. Baldrick’s Headshaving


Ava Vande Corput, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

UPDATE:  A mystery shavee challenged the student body to raise $1000 for cancer research in a quick minute of giving, and students responded with over $1500 to see their favorite man from maintenance, the one and only Flaggy, lose his hair and beard to the fight against cancer. 

In 1999 Tim Kenny, John Bender and Enda McDonnell were faced with the challenge of what to do to give back to the community after they were successful with their business.

After careful consideration, Bender came up with the idea of shaving their heads to receive donations to raise money for kids with cancer.

The first St. Baldrick’s Event was held at Jim Brady’s pub in Manhattan when nineteen men decided to shave their heads at the annual St. Patrick’s Day party.

When the event was complete, over $104,000 was donated to fund the research of the Children’s Oncology Group.

In 2009 Notre Dame Academy started participating in St. Baldrick’s after Student Government proposed the idea to Principal John Ravizza. The original student leaders included Heather Wulf, Makayla Dhein and Breckin Van Boxtel.

Mrs. Van Boxtel, Breckin’s mother, initiated the Sting Cancer organization at NDA. A Preble teacher and cancer survivor started Sting Cancer and has seen the club spread throughout Northeast Wisconsin.

This Friday Jacob Biese, sophomore; Robbie Gurnicki, sophomore; Wade Druar, junior; Morgan Goodwin, senior; and Avery McClain, freshman, will brave the head-shave. Theology teacher Peter Weiss will also leave the assembly bald-headed as well as de-bearded.

Mr. Weiss’s decision to participate in this year’s event actually stemmed from a prior St. Baldrick’s head shaving here at NDA.

“Several years ago,” he said, “we had a young mother speak to the students about dealing with her young child who had cancer. As I listened to her speak, I realized that she could just as easily be speaking about my children. I don’t know how I would deal with a cancer diagnosis for one of my kids. Since that time, I had thought about shaving for St. Baldrick’s at some point, but because I always kept my hair so short, I didn’t think it would be meaningful. As I was growing my hair a bit longer this year, I figured this would be a good time to do it. It has also given me a reason to let my beard grow wild, which has been fun for me and my students.”

On the other hand, Shavee Druar said, “I don’t have a personal reason why I decided to participate in St. Baldrick’s. I just feel that it is a good cause, and I want to do what I can to help. I am looking forward to the event because I have never been on this side of the process. I look forward to going up there.”

Icon Salon will be shaving the heads of those brave enough to become Shavees.

However, this year will be a little different than the past few years.

Instead of a speaker coming to the event, the seniors will perform a song, and there will be a video of the Shavees.

“We are not having a speaker this year because we want to focus on a more upbeat feeling with some seniors performing a song and a video of the Shavees,” said Holly Strong, Sting Cancer adviser as well as one of the Student Government leaders.

Along with the St. Baldrick’s event, 35 men are participating in the No-Shave March event.

To participate, each individual had to pay $10.00, and, in return, were able to grow out their facial hair instead of having to keep their faces cleanly shaven.

The overall money goal for these events is $5,000. Mr. Weiss alone is striving to raise $1000.