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St. Baldrick’s at Northwestern holds first head-shaving fundraising event

April 18, 2016

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Northwestern’s first-ever St. Baldrick’s head-shaving fundraiser was held Saturday, with 26 participants helping raise more than $10,000 for childhood cancer research.

St. Baldrick’s, a pediatric cancer research foundation, whose NU chapter formed earlier this year, was brought to NU by Weinberg junior Brian Liu. Liu said he has been involved with the organization for 10 years, and he said he felt it was important to bring this tradition to the university.

“It’s very weird because I’m also 20,” Liu said. “So, it’s not the number 10, but because I’ve been doing this for half of my lifetime now, which is wild.”

Participants fundraised prior to the event, and donations will continue to be collected, Liu said.

Associated Student President Christina Cilento, a SESP junior who was sworn into office Wednesday, took part in the event. She was joined by her mother and grandfather, and the three shaved their heads to raise both awareness and funds for the cause.

“It’s really fulfilling,” Cilento told The Daily. “(My mom) decided that this year she was going to join me, and my grandpa did as well. They made the trip out to see me, but they ended up shaving as well.”

In the weeks leading up to the event, the organizers set up a blackboard in various locations on campus that read, “When I was a kid…” for students to complete the phrase. Liu said this was meant to show students how kids diagnosed with pediatric cancer might have the same dreams but face bigger obstacles in fulfilling them.

After seeing the positive response to Saturday’s fundraiser, Liu said he wants it to continue next year and beyond.

“I really think this could become something very big in the future,” he said. “My hope is that when people come (to NU), they know that this is one of the things that’s going to happen.”


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