Volunteers and Shavees are preparing for Madison's First Annual St. Baldrick's Head Shaving Event on March 10, 2013 at 2pm at Poor Hebie's in Madison. Pictured from left to right are Ryan Selquist, Jett Tom, Keaton Tom (shavee), Karen Tom (shavee), Eric Selquist (shavee), and Kiley Selquist. Funds raised will benefit St. Baldrick's Foundation, a childhood cancer research organization.
Madison Family To Host St. Baldrick’s Head Shaving Event on Sunday, March 10th at Poor Herbie’s
Friday, February 15, 2013 • 11:24am
When Tom & Holly Selquist’s 7-year-old son, Eric, said that he wanted to be bald, the wheels started turning in Tom’s head. With the support of the Selquist’s other children, Ryan and Kiley, and the Madison community, Eric is going to shave his head to raise money for childhood cancer research through St. Baldrick’s Foundation.
St. Baldrick’s Foundation is an international childhood cancer organization that funds research to find cures for children with cancer. St. Baldrick’s head-shaving events involve volunteers, known as shavees, who are sponsored by friends, families and colleagues to shave their heads in solidarity with kids who often lose their hair during cancer treatments. While these events raise money for a serious cause, they are festive, community gatherings that often take place in Irish pubs around St. Patrick’s Day.
The first annual St. Baldrick’s event in Madison will take place Sunday, March 10th at 2pm at Poor Herbie’s, 13 Waverly Place, Madison. Volunteers from Downtown Hair Salon, 23 Waverly Place, will shave heads and Poor Herbie's will donate 10% of food and beverage proceeds from the event to St. Baldrick's.
“After attending several St Baldrick's events over the years, I had thought about bringing an event to Madison,” says event organizer, Tom Selquist. “When my son, Eric, showed enthusiasm for shaving his head, my wife Holly and I decided the time was right for us get serious about organizing an event.”
The Selquists were introduced to St. Baldrick's Foundation by their friends, Mike & Dana McCreesh, who run a St. Baldrick's event in Connecticut every year. The McCreesh’s son, Brent, was diagnosed at age two with stage IV neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer with a five-year survival rate of less than 50%. Brent beat the odds and is now a happy 10-year-old. St. Baldrick’s provides funding for research to increase survival rates for childhood cancers.
The Selquists approached Poor Herbie’s and Downtown Hair Salon about contributing to the event and both businesses were eager to participate.
“That's what I love about Madison and the local merchants - people are quick to jump in and help. Our goal is to make this an annual event and grow it to the largest in New Jersey,” adds Selquist.
Typically, shavees are men so when a woman volunteers to shave her head, people take notice. When the Selquist’s friend, Karen Tom, current Co-President of the Torey J. Sabatini School PTO, stepped up and agreed to shave her head for the cause, the Selquists were ecstatic.
“I decided to participate in this awesome event for a couple of reasons. First, St. Baldrick's is an excellent organization that does an amazing job at raising money for childhood cancer research. Second, this is just a small thing I can do to help these kids out. They don't have the option of losing their hair, but I do, “ says Tom.
Joining Tom in the head-shaving chair will be her nine-year-old son, Keaton. “I’m excited that my friend, Keaton, is going to shave his head with me,” says Eric Selquist. “It’s something that we can do to help kids with cancer and that makes us feel good.”
To raise additional funds, Tom, a Physical Therapist and Spin Instructor at the Madison YMCA, will host a spin-a-thon at the YMCA Family Center, 111 Kings Road, Madison, to kick off the festivities on Sunday, March 10th from 9 am until noon. Individuals interested in participating in the three-hour spin-a-thon event are asked to make a contribution to the cause. Participants can spin for any amount of time during the three-hour event and can sign up by email at email@example.com with which hour (or hours) that they would like to participate.
“The YMCA was happy to offer the venue and I am excited to lead the spin-a-thon along with Jennifer Casanova to provide an active start to what promises to be a successful event for St. Baldrick’s,” adds Tom.
The St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event at Poor Herbie’s is open to the public and families are encouraged to attend. Poor Herbie’s will be offering its full menu.
Individuals interested in participating in the head-shaving or donating to the event’s shavees can find more information on the “Team Eric” webpage at http://www.stbaldricks.org/teams/mypage/80622/2013 or by contacting Holly Selquist at firstname.lastname@example.org.