Some people donate their time to support charity, whereas others donate their funds. Six Corning boys, on the other hand, recently gave up the tops of their scalps to help two cancer-stricken friends.
These young men, all members of All Saints Parish, allowed their heads to be shaved as part of a fundraiser held March 14 at the Bella Capelli Salon & Day Spa in Corning. The group, known as “The Bald Buddies,” consisted of Ryan Burns, Noah Chauvin, Sam Chauvin, Aidan Collins, Cian Collins and John McCarthy.
“All six are proudly sporting bright shiny heads,” reported Rich Collins, father of Aidan and Cian.
The sextet’s loss of hair resulted in a gain of thousands of dollars for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which is designed to support childhood cancer research by injecting some fun into a serious cause. “St. Baldrick” combines the words “bald” and “St. Patrick” — the latter being significant because the inaugural St. Baldrick’s event took place on St. Patrick’s Day in 2000.
According to its Web site, the foundation from Pasadena, Calif., has raised more $50 million — including an all-time high of $17-million-plus in 2008 — in the nine years since its inception. Fundraising events have taken place in 48 states and 18 countries, with more than 72,000 male and female heads having been shaved.
The March 14 hair-cutting spectacle in Corning was dedicated to two local girls, Ashley and Sierra, who attend the same schools as the participants. Both young ladies are currently being treated at Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital: Sierra, 5, has a brain or spinal tumor, and Ashley, 6, has been diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma.
The boys became involved in St. Baldrick’s through Noah Chauvin, who has participated for four years.
“He enlisted Aidan and Sam, who in turn pulled in James. Cian wanted to follow big brother Aidan, and then, being Cian’s closest friend, Ryan joined in,” Collins noted.
As a term of their participation in St. Baldrick’s, those getting their heads shaved not only bid farewell to their locks but also collect donations from friends and family members. As of March 21, the Bald Buddies of Corning had raised close to $4,600 — which meant that one parent ended up having to get clipped as well.
“I had challenged the team that I would shave if they exceeded their $1,000 goal. They surpassed that goal by $3,000,” Collins explained.
He added that the boys are already planning ahead to the next St. Baldrick’s campaign, and that “other kids — and a couple of adults — have expressed interest in participating next year.”