Editor's Note: This article was updated on July 12 at 12:11 a.m. to reflect the modest donation figures and further fundraising information.
WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh Club is holding its Ninth Annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraiser on July 18, from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the club, which is located at 648 Prospect Avenue in West Orange. All members of the public are invited to participate.
Throughout the day, guests will listen to music by Brass Illusion, The Poor Man’s Opera, the Will O’Connor Band, bagpipers and more. Attendees will also dine on food provided by a Taste of Essex, Union and Passaic. In addition, there will Irish step dancers, face painters, a raffle, auctions and more.
According to event organizer Kevin Kinney, “This fundraiser is a great way to build camaraderie and have a little friendly competition between rivals for a great cause.” He added, “Why not grab some friends and join the fun?”
Admission to the event is free but there will be a modest charge of $20 per adult and $5 per child for food and beverages, with 100 percent of money collected going to the St Baldrick’s Foundation. In addition, local businesses are encouraged to donate products or services for the raffle/auction and/or to donate food and beverages. Those interested should call 973-214-0170 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the event, dozens of men, women and children will shave their heads in solidarity, raising much-needed donations to help find a cure for childhood cancers. Funds raised will continue to provide research grants to doctors and scientists at more than 200 institutions to pursue new cures for childhood cancer, in addition to making more clinical trials available to children.
What began in 2000, as a challenge among three friends to shave their heads to raise $17,000 (they actually raised over $100,000) has grown into the world’s largest fundraising event for childhood cancer. To date, over $135 million has been raised through St. Baldrick’s Fundraisers—with almost $600,000, since 2006, having been raised by The Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh Club’s nine West Orange events.
Worldwide, more than 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year, and it remains the leading cause of death by disease among children in the United States, according to St. Baldrick’s. With only four percent of all federal cancer research funding dedicated to pediatric cancer research, St. Baldrick’s Foundation grant funds are critical to continue the battle against this devastating disease.
Youngsters with cancer typically undergo treatments that cause their hair to fall out. Via St. Baldrick’s Fundraisers, volunteers are recruited to shave their heads in public as a bold act of solidarity. These volunteers receive pledges of financial support from their friends and family, and in turn these donations help fund life-saving childhood cancer research. Those wishing to become shavees should sign up in advance and try to raise at least $100.
So far this year, $16,035 has been raised by The Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh Club, with a goal of raising $100,000. Those interested in participating should click HERE to sign up as a shavee, to donate, to become an event volunteer and/or learn more.
“While battling cancer, children lose not only their hair but years of their childhood, and sometimes their lives,” wrote Kinney in his recruitment email. “In comparison to their struggle, shaving your head is a small sacrifice, and the funds raised will make a difference for children with cancer now and in the future. “
“If you have been touched by a child with cancer you know the urgency for finding a cure,” said Kinney. “Together we can support this vital research and give our children back their dreams."