Columns & Commentary

St. Baldricks: Preparing for a Sacrifice


Students at Ball State will soon be displaying shining scalps with pride. Being bald isn’t the newest fashion trend. It’s a fundraising campaign for St. Baldricks.

St. Baldricks is a non-profit foundation driven by volunteers and donations. The organization funds research to find cures for childhood cancer. Only 2.8 percent of the funds they raise are used to cover management costs. Seventeen percent is used to help fund the fundraising events they host. The remaining 79 percent is used to fund research and grants for fighting childhood cancer.

St. Baldrick’s most successful and popular donation process is a shavee event. Volunteers shave their heads and sacrifice their hair for the children who aren’t given the choice.

Most shavees set donation goals to be met before they will shave their heads, which draws in more money for St. Baldricks. These events can be hosted anywhere and by anyone.

Brayton/Clevenger is a residence hall in the Lafollette complex at Ball State and is hosting a shavee event on Saturday March 22. The event is bringing philanthropists and volunteers from all across campus together to raise money for to fight childhood cancer.

Currently, there are 45 students and staff members registered for the event. These include volunteers, team leaders and the shavees.

The choice to become a shavee was an obvious one for many of the volunteers, including Lilly Luttringer, a sophomore majoring in anthropology. Luttringer has had a grandmother and grandfather die of cancer, and recently her aunt was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

“I’m very gung-ho about it because I’m not there to support her and take her to her chemo treatments and everything. So that’s something that I really wanted to do to show my support and shave my head if necessary,” says Luttringer.

Her family members who have been affected aren’t children, but Lutringer still wants to donate to St. Baldricks. She works with children who have special needs, and she even has seen some of these children go through the terrors of cancer.

Nicole Winters met her initial donation goal in 48 hours. Her roommate Lindsey was her biggest help by reaching out to friends and family.

Nicole Winters met her initial donation goal in 48 hours. Her roommate Lindsey was her biggest help by reaching out to friends and family.

“I’m going to be strong shaving my head, I’ll shed a few tears, but it’s way less than anyone else is going through [with cancer], especially these kids,” says Luttringer.

Luttringer has a personal goal of raising $1,000 by shaving off her hair. She has reached out to family and friends via social media. She also plans on writing personal letters to ask for help.

Overall, Luttringer is excited for the event.

“I mean its college. Everyone goes ‘oh I did this wild thing,’ but I shaved my head for kids with cancer. I don’t really think a lot of people can say that,” said Luttringer.

Luttringer isn’t the only one looking forward to the event. Nicole Winters, who is a junior and majoring in aquatics, has been planning on participating in this event since her freshman year at Ball State.  She witnessed a fellow classmate shave her head for a sibling, and it opened her eyes.

A female shaving her head isn’t always supported by everyone, including Winters’s five older brothers.

“Every single one of them was like ‘I’ll donate if you don’t shave your head,’” says Winters. But her parents and many of her good friends are supporting her every step of the way.

She thinks that people will look at her differently because of her lack of hair, but she’s ready for the challenge.

“I know people are going to look at me and think that I’m different because I shaved my head. If someone asks, I’m going to have a really good story to tell them and a really good meaning behind it,” says Winters.

Winters has a personal goal of $150. With help from her family and friends, she met this goal in merely 48 hours. She decided not to stop once she met her initial goal. As of now she has raised $200 and it continues to grow.

Javon Yoder lives in Brayton/Clevenger residence hall and first found out about the event through their advertisements around the hall. He joined up with a team from his floor, Clevenger two.

Javon Yoder lives in Brayton/Clevenger residence hall and first found out about the event through their advertisements around the hall. He joined up with a team from his floor, Clevenger two.

“I want to help out in some way, and since hair is such a big thing for me, I felt like it was the most selfless thing I could do,” says Winters.

Since Brayton/Clevenger Hall is the host of the event, they also have their own fair share of shavees. Javon Yoder, freshman majoring in Spanish and geography, is one of the participants willing to shave their hair for the cause.

“Helping raise that money for people helps me feel better knowing that I can help people out in some shape or form,” says Yoder.

So far there are 17 people signed up to participate. That’s 17 newly bald heads, 17 donation goals and 17 people willing to sacrifice their looks and appearance for the lives of children.

All of the money raised by volunteers will help Brayton/Clevenger get closer to their event goal. Last year they raised $5 thousand for St. Baldricks. This year their expectations are higher as they have set their goal to $6 thousand.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. in the first floor lobby of Brayton/Clevenger. Participants can come and go as they please.

Throughout the day, barbers will be lining up all the shavees and doing the honors of shaving their heads. Students will also be able to learn about everything St. Baldricks does for the children and their families who suffer from cancer. Hair will be lost, but donations and hope will be found for suffering children.

Do you want to see what they look like now and how much fun they had? Follow the link to read about part two.

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