NORWICH – Since its creation in 2004, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation has raised more than $100 million nationwide in support of childhood cancer research, with an estimated 144,000 people having participated in the yearly event and proving that bald truly can be beautiful, especially when it’s for a good cause.
Locally, the Norwich St. Baldrick’s volunteers have raised approximately $164,000 since 2005, even as they prepare to go under the clippers once again on March 16 at the Park Place Restaurant and Lounge, 7 East Park Place.
City of Norwich Emergency Management Officer A. Wesley Jones, who has replaced Norwich Fire Chief Tracy Chawgo as the event’s coordinator, said he and his fellow shavees are hoping to bring some new ideas to the table and turn the popular, one-day event into a year-long fundraising effort.
“Obviously, the fundraising goes on for months leading up to St. Baldrick’s,” noted Jones, “but we’re trying to get people a little more involved throughout the year.”
As such, Jones said organizers have proposed a 5K run, although it was too late this year to get it off the ground; and a Firefighter Challenge, which would award one area fire department “bragging rights” for the year as the firefighting team to raise the most money. Organizers are also encouraging local businesses and other groups to get involved as well, added Jones, through a “Casual to Conquer” initiative.