On March 25, URI students will have the opportunity to shave their heads in support of and donate to those suffering from cancer. Photo by James McIntosh. 

 St. Baldricks to host fifth annual event on March 25 

The University of Rhode Island will partner with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation on March 25 for their fifth annual event, in an effort to raise money for childhood cancer awareness.

On this date, students and members of the community will have the opportunity to cut or shave their hair in return for a small donation. Without having to cut their hair, other event-goers will have the opportunity to enter into a raffle, partake in a free photo booth and make donations. People also have the option of using temporary green hair spray. 

Students are able to either schedule a time for their head to be shaved or just show up and get it cut. The committee planning the event said that lots of students choose to get their head shaved the day of. 

The event will be held inside the Memorial Union, directly outside of Ram’s Den from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Committee Member Meaghan Fournier spoke about how the atmosphere allows members of the community to come together.  

“It’s so cool to see all of these people come together to donate their hair or their time or their money,” Fournier said.

Fournier is one of five students who have been planning the event since last November. Not only is the committee tasked with raising awareness for the event, but they also collaborate with other organizations to make the day as successful as can be. Some student organizations the group is partnering with includes URI Love Your Melon, Student Organization Leadership Consultants, Student Alumni Association and Greek life. 

The group’s main goal for this year’s event is to raise more money, with a target goal of  $20,000. Senior Charles Housemann has seen the number of people who have shaved their head in recent years, but hopes to achieve more. 

“We had a large increase in numbers last year, which is great,” Housemann said. “We’ve put an extra focus on our fundraising goals so not only does our event spread awareness, but also so that it can benefit those in need.”

Donations can be made by visiting the URI page on the St. Baldrick’s website. Money will also be collected the day of the event, either in cash form or electronically through the website. If an individual raises $50 or more on their own, they are eligible to receive a free t-shirt. 

The hair that gets shaved off will be donated as well. Last year, the group partnered with Matter of Trust, a non-profit organization that uses hair clippings to absorb oil leaks in the ocean. 

Fournier said that the group wants to work towards having more people be involved, without feeling the pressure of donating lots of money or shaving their head. She said that people are able to volunteer on the day of the event and help spread the word about the cause as other ways of help.

For Housemann, he knows the impact of what the small action of shaving his head can mean to others. 

“To be able to make that difference in someone’s life and to take off a little bit of hair,” Housemann said, “it feels like nothing to me but it can make a big difference in someone else’s life.”