BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) –Olympic Heights Community High School students are supporting childhood cancer research in a much more unique way than donating money – they are shaving their heads. On Thursday, Olympic Heights hosted their tenth annual St Baldrick’s shave-a-thon event. To participate in the head-shaving extravaganza, students were asked to raise a minimum of 100 dollars for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The total raised by Olympic Heights this year exceeded $33,000 by over 200 volunteers.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long, healthy lives.
“This is an overall great thing,” said senior Ian Wagner. “Raising money to cure childhood cancer is an extremely important cause and seeing high school students raise this much money is an outstanding thing.”
In the past ten years, Olympic Heights have raised over $500,000 in total. What’s truly remarkable about that number is the fact that each event has been entirely student run under the guidance of few faculty members.
“As a high school student, it’s such a great feeling to be able to make a difference like this. When you walk into the gymnasium and see a sea of green shirts, wigs, headbands and shoes, you get really excited for what was accomplished,” said junior Gianna Damian. “It’s important to spread the word.”
At the event, 60 students shaved their heads, including 12 female students.
Senior Elizabeth Siegel is a four year veteran of the head-shaving process. When asked why she shaves her head, Siegel responded, “It’s really important for girls to shave their hair. It makes such an impact in these kids’ lives, and it makes them feel like they don’t have to go through it alone. They have someone who knows what it feels like to not have any hair on their heads.”
Lauren Benedeky, a stage IV neuroblastoma survivor and St. Baldrick’s national ambassador speaking at the assembly, told the crowd, “36 children are diagnosed with cancer every day. That is 36 families every day in turmoil and grief,”
It is truly spectacular the amount of money that has been raised for this fantastic cause. This proves that at no matter what age, people can make a difference. As Elizabeth Siegel acutely expressed, “It’s only hair. It will grow back.”