Shaving events raise $250K for cancer fight

McHENRY – Hundreds of shaved heads later, area schools and groups have raised more than $250,000 for St. Baldrick’s Day.

Most of the money – $208,000 of it – was raised through the fundraiser at McHenry High School West Campus last Thursday.

In total, 965 volunteers shaved their heads in solidarity with child cancer patients, setting the world record for the largest number of people getting their head shaved at a single location.

Last year, 381 people participated in the McHenry event.

It was the McHenry community’s third annual fundraiser for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a charity that raises money for pediatric cancer research.

Crystal Lake’s Kiwanis Club organized events at McHenry County College and Crystal Lake South High School. They raised nearly $22,000 in online donations, and in-person donations are still to be calculated, organizer Jo Anne Ollerenshaw said.

Woodstock High School raised about $15,600 through its school and communitywide events, according to preliminary counts.

Grant Community High School in Fox Lake is still gathering donations, teacher Sheryl Dempsey said, but so far, they’ve raised $8,500. Another event is planned for May.

Two area salons still have upcoming events in April. Those interested in learning more can search for events in their area at the foundation’s website, stbaldricks.org.

McHenry already has set the date for next year’s effort. On March 13, 2014, organizers hope to have at least 1,000 participants shave their heads and have 100 ponytails donated, West Campus Assistant Principal Carl Vallianatos said.

Although most of the shaved hair isn’t used for wigs, some participants donate their hair to other organizations, such as Locks of Love, which provides wigs for child cancer patients who have lost their hair from cancer treatment.

Locks of Love requires donated hair to be a minimum of 10 inches long, so Vallianatos recommended that girls start growing their hair out.

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