Written by Christy Hinko Friday, 25 March 2011 00:00
On Sunday, March 13 Jackie Reilly’s Irish Pub and Restaurant in Bethpage hosted the local St. Baldrick’s Foundation charity event. To kick off the event, members of American Celtic Pipe Band played for charity participants. Nearly 150 local residents volunteered to be shaved, collecting close to $12,000 for this year’s event. The Bethpage pub has now raised over $85,000 to date for pediatric research.
St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer organization that hosts events throughout the country to raise money to fund pediatric cancer research. Volunteers agree to shave their heads in solidarity and support of kids who lose their hair due to the harsh after-effects of chemo treatments.
Shave volunteers collected donations on their “heads.” Seven teams, plus many independent walk-ins, participated.
Town Councilman Joseph Muscarella had the honor of shaving the event Co-Chairman Bill Hroch’s head.
“I was inspired by the loving, caring and giving spirit that came from this; it was overwhelming with compassion by the volunteers, I never expected it,” said Muscarella who had attended the St. Baldrick’s event for the first time. “It was the most emotional thing, this year, that I’ve done; I have to take my hat off to everyone. I am deeply moved by the true spirit of people in the room; it has made an everlasting impact on me.”
Hroch and Muscarella also presented pub owner Sean Reilly with a special proclamation for hosting the event.
While Farmingdale Mayor Butch Starkie stopped by to shave friend Dan Edwards’ head, beauticians from neighborhood salons volunteered their time to shave the dozens of volunteers.
“The St. Baldrick’s event blew me away; I was so impressed with all the young and old getting their locks sheared for such a wonderful cause,” said Starkie. “The highlight of my day was cutting Mr. Dan Edwards’ hair.”
The Farmingdale High School Knitting & Crochet Club and others provided hats for the shavees to keep their heads warm.
In addition, five children from Nassau County were honored for their extraordinary brave battle against cancer. Chris O’Halloran, father of one of the honored children, Kristen, shaved his head and raised almost $15,000 alone.
Monica Kuchinskas said, “I participated in co-chairing this event at Jackie Reilly’s in honor of my niece, Kristen O’Halloran, and all other kids battling cancer; there needs to be increased funding for research in pediatric cancers so better treatment options can be found and ultimately a cure.”
Founded in 2000, this movement has quickly grown into the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising program for childhood cancer research. St. Baldrick’s Foundation funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization, except the U.S. government. Since 2000, more than 147,000 volunteers — including over 12,000 women — have shaved in solidarity with children with cancer at events in dozens of countries and every U.S. state. Thanks to generous friends and family, these shavees have raised over $90 million for life-saving research, and each is a walking billboard for the cause. Visit stbaldricks.org to learn more, find additional local events and to make donations.