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Second Annual St. Baldrick’s Head Shaving Event on Waverly Place in Madison on Sunday, March 30th

Holly Selquist

Friday, March 14, 2014 • 11:09am

The 2nd Annual St. Baldrick’s event in Madison will take place on Sunday, March 30th at Poor Herbie’s, 13 Waverly Place, with head shaving provided by Downtown Salon, 23 Waverly Place.  The Selquist Family of Madison is once again leading the event with the support of local families and businesses.

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.  

“A year ago, our son Eric asked to shave his head, and several weeks later, St Baldrick's in Madison was born,” says event organizer Holly Selquist.  “We had 42 shavees and raised just over $43,000 last year and our goal this year is to increase the shavee number to 50.”

Shavee registration begins at 2:00pm, with head shaving to start shortly after at 2:30pm. Poor Herbie's will be donating 10% of all food and beverage sales to St. Baldrick's and Downtown Salon is providing the stylists to shave heads.

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 with stage IV neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer, at the age of 2.  At that time, the five-year survival rate when diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma was less than 30% but Brent beat the odds and, after years of treatments, he is a happy 11-year-old. 

“The St. Baldrick’s Foundation funds more childhood cancer research grants than any other organization except the U.S. government and it is through their work that the survival rate for childhood neuroblastoma is now closer to 50%,” says Tom Selquist.  “Like so many people, too many of our close friends and family have been diagnosed with cancer. We are hoping that, by raising funds for St. Baldrick’s, we can help take a small step towards eradicating childhood cancers.”

One side of Waverly Place will be closed to traffic for the event to allow people to move easily between Poor Herbie’s and Downtown Salon. "The Unplugged", the Madison-based duo of Chris Bias and Val Schuszler, will provide musical entertainment throughout the event and there will be head and face painting for the shavees.  

Many Madison merchants are involved with the event and will offer special promotions and merchandise discounts for the day, including Tons of Toys, McCool’s Ice Cream, Alfred's Sporting Goods, Adams Dental, and more.  

To raise additional funds, Karen Tom, a Physical Therapist and Spin Instructor at the Madison YMCA, will host a Spin-a-Thon for adults at the YMCA Family Center, 111 Kings Road, Madison, to kick off the festivities on Sunday, March 30th from 9 am until noon.  Proceeds of the event will be divided evenly to benefit the Madison Area YMCA’s free “LiveStrong at the YMCA” wellness program for cancer survivors, and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.  Participants may register at the Madison Area YMCA Welcome Center at the Family Center.  The Spin-a-Thon pledge is $20 per hour and participants can spin for any amount of time during the three-hour event. 

"We are thrilled that the community has rallied around this cause. The response from Madison residents and local businesses has been overwhelming,” adds Tom Selquist. “Everyone was quick to jump in and lend a hand and we look forward to a big turnout on March 30th.”

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 “event webpage at http://www.stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/9421/2014 or by contacting Holly Selquist at hselquist@gmail.com.

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