The St. Baldrick’s Event held here on the Rollins campus on March 21 was an enormous success, raising approximately $9,949 and giving people the chance to become aware and actively participate in this organizations cause. With the support of AMSA and Lambda Chi, this on-campus event helped bring this volunteer-driven charity organization to the forefront of campus news. St. Baldrick’s actively funds childhood cancer research grants more so than any other organization besides the United States Government.
Rachael Munoz ’16, Biochemistry Major, Global Health Minor, and one of the coordinators for the event reflected on why students should become more involved with this wonderful organization and others like it. She said, “It really does develop teamwork skills. This event would not have been the success it was if it was not for all the volunteers we had and their dedication to organizing it. Also, by participating in such events, you are helping raise awareness for causes that mean something to you, whether it’s Cancer or Poverty.”
She became involved with the event to honor her cousin Ian. She said, “He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when he was seven and I was in high school. He just finished his last chemo treatment in December 2013 and I wanted to hold an event in honor of his fight and the other kids who are still battling cancer.”
When English Professor Bill Boles got word of the St. Baldrick’s event on campus, he was enthusiastic to participate. Having known about the organization for some years, he showed support by buzz-cutting his hair. “I had great financial support from my department, from colleagues, from current and past students and my friends around the world. All of my fundraising was just through Facebook, and I ended up raising around 1K,” said Dr. Boles.
People at the event could participate in the event in various ways, whether that meant shaving your own head, volunteering or donating. Dr. Boles commented on one of the most inspiring things he saw that day: “What impressed me most was the three middle school girls who raised almost 5K alone in doing Locks for Love and then buzz-cutting their own hair. They did it together, holding hands the whole time. Middle school is a tough time to look different from others, but their commitment to the cause is something I will remember.”
Stefania Mennella, an advocate for The Truth 365, St. Baldrick’s and YouTuber for the cause, inspires students around her to give what is most precious: their time. She said, “Maybe I’ll see the cure for cancer in my lifetime, but we should do better because we aren’t doing enough. People don’t want to get involved because it’s sad. I have to put my feelings on the shelf. . . It’s not about me. It has nothing to do with my feelings. It’s about them. They come first.”