WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh in West Orange, an Irish/American fraternal organization dedicated to serving the community, has officially achieved its goal of surpassing $1 million dollars in donations for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research, through the organization’s signature head-shaving event.
For the 13th consecutive year, the event encouraged hundreds of community members to either participate or donate to the cause, including youth athletes, work groups, various social organizations and individuals dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer.
In order to inspire monetary donations from community members, dozens of men, women and children willingly shaved their heads at The Shillelagh Club in solidarity with kids with cancer, according to volunteer fundraiser organizer Kevin Kinney, who said that St. Baldrick’s holds this fundraise in recognition that pediatric cancers are much different and don’t always respond to traditional treatments.
“St. Baldrick’s saw a critical need for pediatric cancer research that was almost completely unfunded,” Kinney said prior to the event, adding that although there was some private funding, “there was virtually zero government funding until Congress passed the [Childhood Cancer] STAR Act last year.”
Since 2006, West Orange residents of all ages have shaved their heads in order to help raise critical funds for research. According to Kinney, kids that have battled or are still battling cancer also return each year for the event.
“Every community can and should get behind such a great cause,” said Kinney, who is a former president of the West Orange Shillelagh Club. “I have consistently seen the West Orange community rise to the challenge to support others in their time of need, and this is no different. A good number of residents have been very involved with this charity for many years and the West Orange Shillelagh Club has taken the lead, stepping up to provide a home for the annual event and many other charitable events throughout the year.”
To learn more about St. Baldrick’s, call 1-888-899-BALD or visit StBaldricks.org.