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Students to shave heads and raise money

February  27, 2013

See photos from last year's Rho Nu Delta St. Baldrick's fundraiser.

A group of Augustana College students is inviting as many people as possible to shave their heads to raise money for childhood cancer research at a 7 p.m. event on Thursday, April 11, in the PepsiCo Recreation Center, 3520 7th Ave., Rock Island.

The idea started with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a national group that has become a leading funder of research on childhood cancers. Last year at Augustana, 75 participants raised $11,000 for the cause, giving up their hair in return for donations from family, friends and neighbors.

“I personally got involved with St. Baldrick’s because I have seen the effects and devastation of cancer firsthand,” said Tyrrell Jeffries, president of the Rho Nu Delta, the Augustana fraternity that is organizing the event.

 “I have had many loved ones and friends who have fought this disease, most recently my aunt. And one of our fraternity brothers is a childhood cancer survivor.” said Jeffries, a senior from Aurora, Ill., majoring in political science and sociology.

While Jeffries and dozens of men plan to participate, a smaller number of women participate, but tend to draw more attention and raise more money.

“Last year there were a lot of guys and only three girls who shaved their heads,” said Clare Kilbride, a participating senior from Rock Island majoring in communication sciences and disorders. “From what I know, there are many more girls doing it this year and I am honored to be surrounded by so many other brave women.”

Her inspiration is her roommate, who survived cancer as a child. “It’s the medical treatment she received that allowed her to win the battle and be here today as such an amazing friend,” said Kilbride. “Watching her shave her head last year was so inspiring.” “My personal goal is to raise at least $5,000,” said Kilbride. “If I’m going to do this, we’re going to do it big and get the maximum amount of money and awareness out there.”

More children die of cancer than all childhood diseases combined, yet research into childhood cancer receives only a small fraction of the funding allocated to adult cancers, according to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. 

The name “St. Baldrick’s” is a combination of the words “bald” and “St. Patrick’s,” since the first event was held on March 17, 2000, which was St. Patrick’s Day. Since then, the foundation has raised more than $100 million by staging head-shaving events worldwide.

Sam Schlouch
Director, Public Relations and Arts Promotion
(309) 794-7833
samschlouch@augustana.edu