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10 Facts About St. Baldrick’s

March 17, 2016
4 min read
Shavee girl holding her braid

You know St. Baldrick’s — but did you know these 10 fun facts about us?

1. St. Baldrick isn’t a real guy.

If he isn’t real, then where did the name come from? St. Baldrick is a mashup of St. Patrick’s Day and the word “bald” — two things which sum up the humble beginnings of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

2. It all started with a bet.

Speaking of humble beginnings, St. Baldrick’s began when three guys challenged each other to shave their heads for childhood cancer research. Their goal was to raise $17,000. They ended up with $104,000, and the rest is history!

Shavee Kat at event at Jim Brady’s pub

A shavee℠ before she went bald at Jim Brady’s Irish Pub.

3. Our first event was in a bar.

The first St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event was held at Jim Brady’s Irish Pub in Manhattan. Today, events take place in pubs, restaurants, schools, churches, parks, and any other place you can imagine. Communities unite to conquer childhood cancer — and it’s always a fun time!

4. We’re the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants.

Yup, you read that right. We’re the largest non-government funder of childhood cancer research grants. In fact, we fund more than anyone but the U.S. government.

St. Baldrick’s Scholar at the University of Michigan

St. Baldrick’s Scholar Dr. Beata Chertok at the University of Michigan.

5. Our largest grant last year was almost $6.7 million.

Our biggest grant every year goes to the Children’s Oncology Group, or COG, to support clinical trials at more than 200 COG-member institutions around the world. To date, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation has granted over $60 million to the COG so kids with cancer can get the cures they need. With over 90% of kids with cancer in the US treated at COG institutions, this grant is doing a lot of good for a lot of people.

6. We are a volunteer-powered organization.

St. Baldrick’s volunteer event organizers (VEOs), shavees, barbers, sponsors, donors, staff, board members, and other volunteers generate 100% of revenues. In other words, none of our funding for childhood cancer research could be done without you!

Shavee girl touching her face

Shavees sign up to go bald at one of our many head-shaving events.

7. There are over 900 head-shaving events registered so far this year.

St. Baldrick’s has grown from just one event in 2000 to over 800 events in 2017. And the year’s not over yet!

8. We’ve shaved over 470,000 heads.

Yep, we are that crazy head-shaving organization. Shavees sign up to go bald at one of our many head-shaving events to stand in solidarity with kids with cancer who don’t have a choice in going bald. They inspire friends and family to donate money to support childhood cancer research — and maybe inspire some of them to go bald, too!

9. We don’t just shave heads.

You don’t need to go bald to raise money for kids with cancer. You can start a Do What You Want fundraiser — all you need is an idea! Dream up a creative fundraiser as unique as you are, and start raising money for childhood cancer research.

Color Run volunteers for Do What You Want fundraiser

Anything can be a Do What You Want fundraiser, like this color run. Photo courtesy Leonardo Ristori/Tuscan Sun Photography

10. We love kids!

Kids should be on the playground, not in hospitals. When a child suffers from cancer, a piece of their childhood is taken away, and their lives will never be the same. This is why we’re determined to take childhood back from cancer and give kids with cancer the childhoods they deserve.

Ambassador Princeton coloring

One of our 2017 Ambassadors, Princeton.

Each year, we choose five St. Baldrick’s Ambassadors to represent the thousands of kids who get cancer from varying geographic areas, age groups, disease types, and more. These kids remind us that they are worth celebrating and fighting for.

The possibilities are endless for how to get involved with St. Baldrick’s! Learn more about how you can join the fight against childhood cancer.
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