Nearly 50 people shaved their heads to fight Pediatric Cancer at the annual St. Baldrick’s Brave the Shave event at Hannum School. This year, $27,800 was raised for St. Baldricks through online and in-person donations.
“It is a lot of work to put it together, but it is an event that has come to mean so much to the Hannum community. Everyone comes together and we have students and families coming back to Hannum for the event. It really brings the community together and as the day gets closer there is just a buzz that goes through the school in anticipation. When one of the parents got up and spoke before the event and thanked us for doing it and for being a bright spot in their family as they went through this journey, it’s when you hear that you are making a difference that makes the hard work worth it,” said Anne Marie McGovern.
The evening encourages kids to participate in a dance-a-thon if they aren’t participating in the head shaving and gives the whole family a chance to catch up with their community. Each year, survivors of Pediatric Cancer connected to the Hannum community are honored, Basil Atiyh, a Hannum 5th grader and survivor of T-Cell Lymphoma, Luke Mikrut, a 5th-grade survivor of a Wilm’s tumor (kidney cancer), and Christian Sebek a Kindergartener and survivor of Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma were recognized for their fight. Taylor Collard a 16-year-old from Wisconsin who was just diagnosed in August 2018 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia was also honored at the event, her cousins are Hannum students and braved the shave for her!
Hannum Physical Education Teacher, Mr. Lazzarotto, also braved the shave. Lazzarotto had been growing his hair out since the last school year and was inspired to shave it at the annual event.
“I’m braving the shave this year because there are many people in my life who are battling or have battled cancer. Some of those people were lucky enough to beat cancer. What that showed me is that everyone needs help, support, and a sense of community to help them fight their battle. My family was very strong and supportive of each other during our tough times. But it is the help and strength of friends and the people around you that really makes a difference. If shaving my head and raising funds can bring a smile to the face of someone that needs it, or to be that extra support, then I am all in,” he said.
He hopes that the buzz surrounding his head shave will be encouraged to be a part of something bigger than themselves to make a positive impact in the world.