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Annual Shave Off to end childhood cancer

Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 11:41 am

Volunteers at the Shave Off helped St. Baldricks raise money for donation to fight childhood cancer.

Volunteers at the Shave Off helped St. Baldricks raise money for donation to fight childhood cancer.

The fifth annual St. Baldrick’s Shave Off took place on March 19 at the Westmoreland Volunteer Fire Department thanks to Brian Weston who organizes the event each year.

St. Baldrick’s was formed in July of 1999 by three men who came up with the idea to shave their heads to show support and solidarity for children who lost their hair to  chemotherapy treatments for cancer. On average, 175,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. There are over a dozen types of childhood cancers with countless subtypes. This foundation is so vital because less than four percent of the National Cancer Institute’s budget goes exclusively toward research for childhood cancers.

Weston started to organize these events after his cousin’s daughter was diagnosed with pediatric cancer, and, two years later, his cousin’s step daughter fell prey to Leukemia. After having attended another event supporting St. Baldrick’s Foundation six years ago, he decided to start his own.

The event included a craft and vendor sale, a silent auction and a shave off. In addition to the shave off, Locks of Love were also accepted to be donated to make wigs for cancer patients. Raffle tickets were also sold with prizes including vouchers for the Montross Inn and a brand new television.

Weston says the event gets bigger with each passing year as it reaches more and more people, mostly by word of mouth. The first year they collected about $1,500. Last year they earned over $4,000 for the foundation.

The organization is completely nonprofit and openly displays its expenses on their website. 74 percent of all donations go directly …

Read more in the March 23 edition of the Westmoreland News.