Four piles of cut hair littered the concrete outside the Kiewit Fitness Center on the Creighton University campus Sunday.
Two professional barbers and two Creighton students shaved the heads of more than 34 people participating in the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s head-shaving event, which raised more than $8,500 for childhood cancer research.
Jackie Greene, 22, brought the event to Creighton last year. Not only did Greene organize the event, she also had her head shaved.
“It’s an awesome, liberating and fun event,” Greene said. “It’s so special because of the cause.”
On its website, the foundation says it has provided $100 million in childhood cancer research grants since 2005. Much of the group’s funds come from head-shaving events held nationwide.
Greene said she initiated the fundraiser here because she wants to help fight childhood cancer.
“It’s OK to be bald. I want to support them,” Greene said of young cancer patients. “It gets people out of their comfort zone and supports a good cause.”
The organizer of this year’s event was John Helling, 21, who participated in and helped organize last year’s head-shaving.
“People in my life have had childhood cancer, so it’s personal for me. It means a lot to show a specialized support of childhood cancer,” Helling said.
Patricia Griffin was the first to have her head shaved Sunday. Griffin’s granddaughter Adrianna Sloan was all smiles as she held her grandmother’s hand during the process.
Adrianna, 6, had a form of cancer that affected her pituitary gland.
“It means a lot,” said Adrianna’s mother, April Sloan. Sloan shaved her head last year and planned to do so again this year.
Savana Yale-Barton, 20, and two of her friends were “shavees.”
“It’s a beautiful thing, a beautiful cause,” Yale-Barton said. “People with cancer don’t get to decide whether they have hair or not.”
Despite their support of a good cause, Yale-Barton and others were nervous to part with their locks.
“I think everyone’s worried about what they’re going to look like when they’re done, but it’s all equal,” said Nick Williams, another participant.
Williams heard about the event from a friend and decided to join in.
“Cancer is one of those things that affects everyone,” Williams said. “Even if you don’t have cancer or know someone who does, someone out there appreciates that you did this.”
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