Bald is beautiful: Head-shaving event supports childhood cancer research in Grand Junction, Colorado
WHAT: St. Baldrick’s head shaving event
WHEN: Saturday, June 27, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: A Taste of Heaven, 2817 North Ave., Grand Junction
COST: Donations accepted
WHAT IS ST. BALDRICK’S FOUNDATION?
St. Baldrick’s Foundation is an international nonprofit based in California focused on childhood cancer research and fundraising efforts.
Jim Hamlin, a Grand Junction resident and photographer, brought the “bald is beautiful” concept to Grand Junction three years ago to honor his son, Neal Carmine, who was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma at age 25 in 2006. Carmine died 11 months after his initial diagnosis.
“Since 2005, St. Baldrick’s has awarded more than $127 million to support lifesaving research, making the foundation the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants,” a news release said. “St. Baldrick’s funds are granted to some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts in the world and to younger professionals who will be the experts of tomorrow.”
Source: Caitlin Row, Free Press editor, June 24, 2014 article
Jon Hooker’s son, Mason, was diagnosed with leukemia at age 3. Now 5 years old, the boy’s cancer is in remission, with only one more year of routine check-ups and treatment until he is considered cured.
“Not a day goes by that I wouldn’t trade places with him in terms of what I can do as a parent, other than getting him to his appointments and getting his medications,” Hooker, of Grand Junction, said. “Raising money to support research is one of the few things I can do. … Childhood cancer robs kids of their childhood.”
To support Mason, Hooker became involved with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s annual head-shaving event in Grand Junction last year. This year, the fundraiser is set for Saturday, June 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at A Taste of Heaven (2817 North Ave., Grand Junction). He will shave his head along with his two sons, Mason and Jack, and wife, Michelle.
“It’s only hair, it will grow back,” said Jim Hamlin, event organizer.
Hooker’s team, called Mason’s Minions, hopes to raise $10,000 for childhood cancer research in 2015. So far, the team has raised around $7,500, from donors big and small.
“I can’t emphasis enough my thanks to everyone for supporting this,” he said.
Last year’s event shaved the heads of 151 people and raised $54,000. This year, event organizers hope to see 200 shaved heads and raise $75,000. Licensed beauticians and barbers volunteer their time at the event, as do others connected to the cause.
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