St. Baldrick’s Community Shave cancelled over coronavirus concerns

This year’s event would have been the twelfth and final year MCHS hosted the fundraiser supporting families fighting childhood cancer


Cindy Huerta

Preparing to lose his hair for charity, Mark Winters sits in a barber stool during 2019’s St. Baldrick’s Community Shave in the West Campus Main Gym on March 21. This year’s event, which annually brings the broader McHenry community together, has been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.

Emma Snyder, Staff Writer

With COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, continuing to spread rapidly, MCHS decided to cancel its annual St. Baldrick’s Community Shave scheduled for March 18. 

The Community Shave has been an annual event in McHenry for the last 12 years. Over the last 12 years, MCHS’s Community Shave has $1,661,671 for childhood cancer and had 5,159 participants. This year was that last year MCHS was running the Community Shave. 

“This was something the district didn’t take lightly,” said Carl Vallianatos, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. “It was [about] keeping not only our students’ safety but the ability to make sure that we were very proactive and positive with the national and state effort to stop the community spread of the virus.” 

The decision made by District 156 in an effort to protect the health and safety of all students, staff, and community members. It follows the recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH).

“The important thing to remember is St. Baldrick’s continues,” said Gregory Eiserman, Assistant Principal. “The whole idea of St. Baldrick’s is to raise money to find a cure. That is done almost exclusively online. And so we are going to, obviously, continue to keep collecting money through online donations.” 

However, shavees are being encouraged to participate in a digital shave and continue raising money for the cause. Shavees will get their heads shaved at local salons and take pictures or videos of themselves doing it. These pictures will then be posted to the shavees personal and/or MCHS’s St. Baldrick’s webpage. 

Catherine Doherty, main office secretary, was the secret shave for this year’s St. Baldrick’s event. Doherty will continue to raise money in support of childhood cancer. 

“I am very disappointed because I let my hair grow,” said Doherty. “It’s usually shorter than this, but I am still collecting money.” 

While the future of the event is still unknown, the hope is that another local organization will take over the organization and running of the event.