St. Baldrick's Day raises funds to fight cancer

MANCHESTER — On May 23, Manchester Elementary-Middle School came together with the community for our fourth St. Baldrick's Day. A total of 45 people cut their hair or shaved their head to do something to bring awareness to cancer, and $14,231 was raised for donations to the St. Baldrick's Foundation.

Seven people kindly donated 8 inches of hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths to create wigs, free of charge, for women undergoing treatment for cancer.

They were followed by 38 members of our community who stepped forth to "Brave the Shave."

Shavees raised money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a volunteer-driven organization that raises money for childhood cancer research. Shavees included students and staff from MEMS and BBA, community members, including two officers from the Manchester Police Department. The event included siblings, parents, children, and an entire family!

Several shavees were deemed "Squires of Hope" by "Queen" Mary Grabarz of Manchester, as this was their third year being involved. Volunteer stylists generously donated their time to shave heads amidst a cheering, supportive crowd who listened as each shavee stepped forward with their compassionate reason for participating.

The top donor was Nancy Diaferio, who contributed $1,360.

The event highlighted a video from Dr. Hochberg who received a grant from this organization to continue her innovative successful treatment with patients.

This helped us understand just how important this foundation is to the doctors treating children affected with cancer and how underfunded this research is.

This was a meaningful and successful event that included community members from all grade levels and ages, life experiences, with the passion to help. It is also successful because of the generosity of our community--thank you to everyone who donated to this cause. Please give an extra smile to those you see around town that have a shaved head and a big heart.

Thanks go to our stylists from the Green Door Day Salon, American Hairlines, Ted's Barber Shop, SportClips in Rutland, and Head to Toe in Bennington; to Burr and Burton Academy student Sean Young, for helping plan and execute the event; to Jennifer Pryslak for photographing the event; to the MEMS PTO for providing volunteers to make the event run smoothly; and for the dedicated coverage by GNAT and the Bennington Banner and Manchester Journal.

Anna Nicholson is a fifth grade teacher at Manchester Elementary-Middle School.


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