SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — More than 30 teams signed up for the 2023 St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event at Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub on Sunday, April 2, to fight childhood cancers.
At the fundraiser, Innovation Tech High School teacher, Dave Sampson, from the team “Shave Dave” was there, who raised money along with 120 students and staff for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
Sampson has been shaving his head for St. Baldricks for six years and has had significant challenges of his own, including losing part of his leg and now having a wife who is struggling with cancer. He’s been described as an “Innovation Tech icon” because he has taught at the school for 20 years.
After students from a Multimedia Marketing class interviewed Sampson, they discovered his
participation in St. Baldrick’s fundraiser stems in part from a desire to sponsor a local child, Archie, who is in remission.
While the schoolwide goal was $1,000, students said they want to aim higher than that, saying “we believe in the power, kindness and compassion of our community to spread the word about St. Baldrick’s and childhood cancer.”
Mary Schwanke was another ‘head-shaver’ at the event who supported St. Baldrick’s Honored Kid, Caroline Moch, who is a two-time childhood cancer survivor. Moch was first diagnosed at nine months old with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and then again at five years old with salivary gland cancer.
“I’m doing it to honor her. This is my second head shave, the first one was in 2016, and I’ve raised over $1000,” said Schwanke.
Chow Downey, one of the coordinators of St. Baldricks, said Sunday’s event was their 19th event at Kitty Hoynes.
“We’ve been blessed because we’ve had a good run. Over the 19 years, we’ve raised $6.6 million for childhood cancer research. Our event has spread like a flower, people are doing events by themselves and it’s spreading and it’s a good little germ to have in the community.”
In September, St. Baldrick’s is having another event at the MBT bank stadium to fundraise again.
“We’re just thankful for the community and the folks that have been doing this for 19 years. The shavers and the stylists that come in, they’ve been loyal to us and we’re thankful to everybody who helps us out,” said Downey.
After the head-shaving event today, “Shave Dave” reached its goal and more with a total of $1,325 raised for childhood cancers.
If you want to donate to the fundraiser, click here.