A Charitable Cut
By Frank Radosevich II
April 12, 2012
Freshman Liz Steinhaus stood on Olin Quad with tear-streaked eyes clutching her ponytail in her hand. Mind you, she was not mourning the loss of her freshly shorn locks.
The actuarial science major was one of many students, teachers, staff and members of the community to go bald for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a national charity that aims to raise awareness and funds to cure children’s cancer.
More than 110 participants sat for the barber for the good cause at Bradley. Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity helped organized the campus’ fifth annual celebration. While some decided on the spur of the moment to have their heads shaved, others signed up in advance online and collected pledges from friends and family.
Steinhaus, whose family came from Wisconsin to watch the emotional haircut, said it felt strange to hold her hair in one hand while running her other over a stubble-studded scalp. She added, however, that she had no regrets.
“It’s just hair. It grows back,” said Steinhaus, who lost her grandmother to cancer two weeks after learning of her diagnosis. “It was hard but it was the right thing to do.”
With donations still coming in on Thursday, the fraternity estimated about $20,000 had been raised through donations, just $5,000 shy of their $25,000 goal. Their total is expected to grow as the organization will continue to accept donations after the event.
“It’s great for Bradley University to have this much support,” Pi Kappa Alpha member Mike Donovitch said as barbers behind him ran their electric razors over scalps. “I feel like this brings the community together.”
Donovitch, a junior health science major who helped organize the event, said St. Baldrick’s day has grown in popularity each year, attracting more participants and funds. This year saw members of Bradley’s athletic department and faculty get involved.
Assistant English professor Dr. Danielle Glassmeyer and her friend Rachel Tuma had their heads shaved together. Marveling at their news hairdos, Dr. Glassmeyer said she had wanted to keep a half-inch of hair but learned a friend was undergoing chemotherapy treatments and would have her hair falling out shortly.
“I can’t just leave peach fuzz then,” she said of her bald head. “I have to go the whole way.”
Athletic Director Dr. Michael Cross, coaches Jim DeRose, Geno Ford and Elvis Dominguez and student athletes joined in the shaving. DeRose, who coaches the men’s soccer team, underscored how taking a little off the top was a small price to pay to help cancer patients and survivors.
“It’s a great cause and a lot of fun, all of our players have gotten a chance to get in there and do it,” he said. “Sometime in all of our lives this has affected us as a family or just as friends and it seems like the small thing we can do is give up some hair.”
To donate, visit https://www.stbaldricks.org/donate/event/4637/2012.