Going bald, by choice


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Primping for a date with that special someone on Valentine’s Day usually doesn’t include choosing to go bald. Yet that is what 13 University of Louisville School of Medicine students will do the day before, on Feb. 13, to show their support for kids with cancer and raise funds for pediatric cancer research.

    The students will hold a St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event Thursday, Feb. 13, at noon in the Health Sciences Center Auditorium, located on Preston Street between East Chestnut Street and East Muhammad Ali Boulevard. This is the third year that UofL medical students have hosted a St. Baldrick’s event.

    In exchange for donations, the students will have their heads shaved completely or will cut their ponytails to donate hair to make wigs for children who have lost their hair as a result of cancer treatment. The foundation has matched each participant with a child battling cancer to honor at the event. The students hope to raise at least $10,000 and are currently taking donations for the event on their website, www.stbaldricks.org/events/ULSOM2014.

    Other giveaways are planned as well. The students are raffling off gift cards and other prizes donated by area merchants. Drawings for each prize will be held at the Feb. 13th event and winners do not need to be present to win.

    Donating items to the raffle are A Reader’s Corner, Bardstown Road Bicycle Co., Baxter’s 942 Bar and Grill, Belle of Louisville, Bluegrass Burgers, Buffalo Wild Wings, Carrabba’s, Day’s Espresso & Coffee, Gordon Biersch, Guestroom Records, Hard Rock Café, Highland Cleaners, Jack Fry’s, LIFEbar, Molly Malone’s – Baxter Avenue, Molly Malone’s – Shelbyville Road, Palermo Viejo, Parkside Bikes, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Salsarita’s, Seviche, Sol Azteca’s Grill & Cantina, The Sport and Social Club, Tin Roof, Vic’s Classic Bikes, Vincenzo’s, Wild and Woolly Video and Za’s Pizza Pub.

    “We are grateful to our raffle sponsors for their support,” said Tony Simms, assistant director for medical student affairs at UofL who is assisting the students in holding the St. Baldrick’s event. “Our students are passionate about the cause and want to make a difference, and with everyone’s help, we will do just that.”

    The effort is organized nationally each year by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, founded by three reinsurance industry executives, Tim Kenny, John Bender and Enda McDonnell, in New York. The first St. Baldrick’s event in a Manhattan pub was timed with St. Patrick’s Day 2000 and generated $104,000 in donations.

    Today, St. Baldrick’s is believed to be the largest volunteer fundraiser for childhood cancer research and second only to the federal government in the amount of funding provided to pediatric cancer researchers. Since 2005, St. Baldrick’s donors and volunteers have enabled the foundation to provide more than $127 million to grant recipients.

    Jill Scoggins is Director of Communications at UofL's Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. She has been at UofL since 2010.