Hannum Elementary School once again showed the community unity, dedication, and charity on Fri., March 13, by working together to fight cancer. Anyone near Hannum on that day would have heard the excitement of people getting their heads shaved, the tapping of dancers and the beautiful sounds of a majestic bagpiper. Even Staley Da’ Bear, the mascot for the Chicago Bears stopped by the school and enjoyed dancing, signing autographs, and practicing his barbering skills.
Eight barbers trimmed over 70 heads for charity at this year’s Hannum Elementary St. Baldricks fundraiser. Last Friday’s event totaled $38,780 which put the three year grand total at over $70,000 raised by the Hannum learning community.
“I am amazed at our totals each year, because we are only a K-5 school, which means most students are relatively young to get up on stage and have their head shaved!” volunteer event organizer Susie Panice said. “Second graders have really stepped up to the plate this year. Aidan Sebek and his family raised nearly $2,000 in honor of his little brother, Christian, who is 2 years old and was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in January.”
Panice stated, “Twin girls in 5th grade, Jazmin and Julianna Guerrero, decided to shave their long, dark locks in support of their mother, Fatima, who is undergoing cancer treatment right now. It is a very touching story. They inspired several of the boys in their grade to shave their heads as well.”
“In addition to the “Shavees” there were three “Honorees” attending the event this year.” said Panice. “Honored kids are kids with cancer who honor us with their presence and share their stories with the students and those attending the event. They are truly an inspiration.”
Along with Christian, Hannum Elementary honored Jaidlyn Amerio-Nappi, a freshman at Oak Lawn High School who has non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Her cousin is a fourth grader at Hannum Elementary and raised $600 for Jaidlyn.
Oliver Canales, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, is the cousin of student Jacky Canales. The Canales family formed Team Oliver and raised over $900 in Oliver’s honor.
Panice said, “The Shavin’ Sheedys, another team from Hannum, received a $9,000 donation from a St. Baldrick’s supporter in Florida who found the team on the St. Baldricks website! The generosity of people is astounding!”
“We do St. Baldrick’s for a few reasons,” commented Panice. “Obviously, to fund research to save lives and give better outcomes for kids battling cancer. It teaches our students that they can make a positive change in the world. We may be small, but we are mighty. We are heroes for kids with cancer.”