BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Gov. Livingston High School raised over $28,000 for pediatric cancer at their Second Annual St. Baldrick's Event held at the high school on Thursday, March 27.
"We had a total of 91 fundraisers -- of them, 22 were 'shavees' and 10 other volunteers either donated their hair to Locks of Love, died their hair wacky colors or ate raw onions to raise money," said Kim Fleming, a Gov. Livingston teacher and event organizer.
Fleming began the event three years ago due to her son being diagnosed with a rare liver tumor. "The doctors told me that had he been born 20 years earlier, he would not have survived. Research has saved countless children and we must continue funding this research so that one day, no child will have to experience this horrendous disease," said Fleming.
Last year, a hand full of faculty members set out with the goal to raise $5,000 for pediatric cancer. "We out did ourselves and raised over $13,000. This year we decided to open it up to the entire community," said Fleming, with the goal set at $20,000.
"We have once again exceeded our goal. We have raised over $28,000."
Mukta Phatak, a student at Gov. Livingston was the largest fundraiser, raising $2,600 to shave her head; Steve Siebelts and Dan McGovern raised $1,877 and $851, respectively; and Renee Murrillo and Lisa DiMaggio raised almost $1,000 by eating raw onions.
Several students were inspired by the event, solicited funds from the spectators at the event and in turn shaved their heads to stand in solidarity with kids who don't have a choice but to be bald said Fleming.
Weeks prior the the event, the Gov. Livingston family lost one of their own. Isadora Seibert lost her battle to a rare form of liver cancer. This year's event was in honor of Seibert. She was a class advisor, moderated the Environmental Club, coached, played in the BHEF basketball games, attended the plays, rescued goldfish, the list goes on and on said Fleming.
"Her impact here at GL is so great, it seems hard to believe she was only part of our family for three short years."
Seibert had an integral role in the success of last year's event. "Isadora's enthusiasm never ceased," said Fleming. "She was a beautiful person and a phenomenal teacher and will be terribly missed by our entire community."