The Bald and the Beautiful, an annual fundraiser to fight pediatric cancer, will take place April 18-20 (Wednesday-Friday) in the Sorin-Dooley Room in the LaFortune Student Center at the University of Notre Dame.
Started in 2008 by a group of students, this head-shaving event has raised more than $115,000 in the last three years to benefit Memorial Hospital in South Bend; St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-run organization that funds pediatric cancer research; and Pantene Beautiful Lengths. It is now the largest student-run philanthropic event on campus, with more than 40 student volunteers and 1,500 participants. The goal this year, says student co-coordinator Jay Kenney, is to raise $60,000.
Participants have three options during the event, says Kenney.
- Donating hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.
- Head shaving for St. Baldrick’s. “Which actually a lot of guys do,” says Kenney, “and some girls do also.”
- Colored hair extensions to support Memorial Hospital, $10 each or three for $25.
Donating hair and shaving your head both require registration online at bald.nd.edu. The hair extensions are available to anyone who walks in.
“The football team is coming Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. to shave their heads, and we’ve invited families from Memorial Hospital to come at that time,” says Kenney. “In Duncan Hall four years ago, a freshman, Sam Marx, passed away from cancer, so Duncan’s always got a group that comes down and shaves their heads. Sam’s dad will come down and say a few words.”
Though most of the participants are students, Kenney says the fundraiser has grown tremendously in the past three years. “We’re really trying to reach out to the community more,” he says. “We’re accepting corporate sponsors this year and trying to get word out to the South Bend community.”
The event will take place from 4 to 10 p.m. April 18 and 19 and from 4 to 8 p.m. April 20. Fiddler’s Hearth will provide food. For more information or to make a monetary donation, visit bald.nd.edu.
The Bald and the Beautiful is organized by the Classes of 2012 and 2013 in addition to Duncan, Pangborn and Badin halls. Kenney says the organizers are still looking for corporate sponsors for the event. Companies that are interested should email Emily LeStrange.