We invited Suzie Ruddle, the volunteer event organizer of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraising event at Meehan’s Public House in Sandy Springs, to tell us more about their awesome charity. St. Baldrick’s is committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers. We loved the idea so much our own Chris Doughty volunteered to be a “Shavee!” Here’s more on this awesome organization’s next event on March 11th and how you can help “Brave the Shave!”
HFB: What’s the scoop on this year’s event?
Suzie: The 10th Annual St. Baldrick’s Event at Meehan’s in Sandy Springs is Saturday, March 11th. We hope to shave over 100 heads and crush our goal of $100,000! So far, 57 “shavees” have signed up, comprised of 20 fundraising teams, including “Team Christian”, headed up by Christian McGrath who is a cancer survivor and one of our honored St. Baldrick’s kids.
HFB: How did the St. Baldrick’s Foundation get started?
Suzie: In 2000, an annual reinsurance industry’s St. Patrick’s Day party, held at Jim Brady’s pub in Manhattan, became the first St. Baldrick’s event. The goal of shaving 17 heads and raising $17,000 turned into 19 bald heads and $104,000, which was donated to fund research for a children’s oncology group.
Since 2005, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation has granted more than $200 million dollars, making it the largest non-government funder of childhood cancer research grants. Last year, the organization and its volunteers raised more $38 million dollars!
HFB: What got you started with St. Baldrick’s?
Suzie: I was introduced to St. Baldrick’s through friends whose daughter, Ciara, is a cancer survivor. They run a St. Baldrick’s event every year held at Fado Pub. Also, when our daughter was 5, she had a routine tonsillectomy adenoid procedure and tubes put in. My husband and I are over at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and she’s sick coming out of the anesthesia–and they’re trying different drugs to keep her from getting sick—and I look at my husband and say, “we know she’s going to be ok, but this is an everyday occurrence for families a couple yards away from us.” That was an impactful moment. I first shaved my head in 2007 and fell in love with the Foundation. I then got the opportunity to run the St. Baldrick’s event at Meehan’s Sandy Springs and have been doing it ever since.
HFB: Who can sign up to participate? How can they do it?
Suzie: Anyone and everyone can help us raise money to beat children’s cancer. Our event is a family friendly one; it is all about the kids. Since 2008 at our first event, the Meehan’s group has raised more than $650,000 for pediatric cancer research! We usually have a celebrity join us, too; for the past 5 years we have been lucky enough to have a Falcons player attending as a celebrity barber. You can learn more here!
HFB: What’s it like at a St. Baldrick’s event, where all these people are “braving the shave?”
Suzi: The best part is when there are kids helping kids. It doesn’t get any better. We had one little girl who cried when her Daddy got his head shaved in 2010; in 2015 at the age of 11 she shaved her head in support of these kids battling cancer, alongside her Daddy. We have professional, licensed stylists and barbers that sign up to shave heads. We even have a group of bikers that regularly roll up together, and sometimes, they get shaved right their on their motorcycles! Here are some videos that illustrate the experience:
HFB: Awesome! How can companies like us help?
Suzie: You can sign up to be a “shavee,” volunteer, or make a donation at our event link here and find us on Facebook. If you’re a corporation interested in getting a team together, contact me at that same link. It’s never too late to join in!
HiFi Buys is pumped to be a sponsor of the Saint Baldrick’s event at Meehan’s Public House in Sandy Springs on March 11. We’re proud to announce that throughout the month of February, we will be donating 1% of our total sales to The St. Baldrick’s Foundation to help fund childhood cancer research. Our very own Chris Doughty has agreed to “go bald” in solidarity with kids fighting cancer. Currently donations to our team stand at around $550. If we raise $1,500, Chris will shave his beard, too! Join the fight and help raise money to support lifesaving childhood cancer research by donating to Chris’ team here or here and come cheer on the “Shavees” on March 11th at Meehan’s from 12-4pm!