Western Illinois University Raises over $11,000 for St. Baldrick’s

Kayla Trail

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 Western Illinois University’s Tanner Hall hosted the 12th St. Baldrick’s event this past Sunday, March 6, which raised over $11,000.

 “This event has been at Tanner for 12 years now,” said Complex Directory of Tanner Hall, Jerone Lester. “It had started as a hall program and then became a pillar and capstone for our hall.”

 One of the most common ways to show your participation in the event is by having your head shaved. There was around 50 people in attendance on Sunday who sat down to get their hair shaved off by the stylist from Michael’s Hair Designers.

 Tina Mahoney, manager of the Michael’s Hair Designers said that “the stories that you hear (are) amazing,” and that some participants “shed tears” and “some laughter.”

 Last year, the St. Baldrick’s organization raised a total of $36,979,895 towards funding childhood cancer research. With only being three months into 2016, St. Baldrick’s is already nearly halfway there with raising $12,673,204.

 The organization’s website, stbaldricks.org, states that, “worldwide, 175,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. And in the U.S., more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease — more than AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies and diabetes combined.”

 Western student and pre-business conditional accounting major Aaron Blakley, worked the donation booth at the event.

 “I decided to participate in the St. Baldrick’s event that is going on (Sunday) just because it is a really good cause,” Blakley said. “And it’s basically raising money for kids that have cancer, it was worthy of my time.” 

 Arts and Crafts was one section that people of all ages could get involved in, with activities such as coloring and making cards for the kids who are in the hospitals.

 Philosophy major Riley Addington did not want to graduate Western without raising awareness for St. Baldrick’s.

 “I was motivated to participate in St. Baldrick’s this year mainly because in addition to the cause itself, I didn’t want to graduate from Western without having participated in this amazing event,” Addington said. “While I personally don’t know anyone who has been affected by childhood cancer, my grandmother passed from cancer. So I wanted to try and spread some awareness for the cause.”

 Assistant Complex Director of Tanner Hall Jen Zarate said that the staff had gone out into the community, going to different businesses asking if they wanted to donate to wards the event.

 “Some places donated gift cards and coupons, others donated varies items,” Zarate said. “We had a three-month membership to the YMCA, we had some McDonalds coupons, we had some gift cards from chicks, there were some knit hats, some books.”

 According to Western’s Facebook page, the top fundraising teams at Western for this years St. Baldrick’s event were to The Beards Go Too, who raised $2,035, T5 Sorority who raised $900 and the WIU Resident Assistant Council who raised $848.13.

 The highest amount of money raised by individuals went to Brandon Colley, a university technology employee who raised $1,755, Jillian Ross a senior recreation, parks, tourism administration major raised $980 and pre-social work major, Carina Carpenter raised $900. 

 There were different ways for people to donate, but the main way to donate was online at the St. Badrick’s website. Another way was to donate money at the event. 

 “I would suggest that people ought to be aware of the fact that on average, every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer, which is a fact that I was unaware of,” Addington said. “Considering that it takes roughtly three minutes to read 500 words, that could mean that by the time you finished reading this (article,) a child was diagnosed with cancer. By participating in this event next year, that’s something you could help strive to change so I would strongly recommend participating in St. Baldrick’s 2017.”

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