Opinion: St. Baldrick’s needs to stay

The future of the Community Shave is uncertain since MCHS will no longer host the fundraiser for childhood cancer


Cindy Huerta

Carl Vallianatos, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, has his head shaved alongside his daughter Sophie during the 2019 Community Shave in the West Campus Main Gym on March 21.

Emma Snyder, Staff Writer

The Main Gym at MCHS West Campus is packed with people. The excitement, support, and love of everyone there is tangible. Men and women of all ages are shaving their heads in support of childhood cancer or cutting their grown out ponytails to donate.

St. Baldrick’s has been an influential part of the community for the last 12 years. It was started in 2009, but the first Community Shave wasn’t until 2011. Over the years, McHenry’s Community Shave has been very successful, raising over $1.5 million for childhood cancer, over $180,000 for local families facing childhood cancer, and shaving 4,760 heads in support of children diagnosed with cancer. And in 2013, McHenry’s Community Shave became number one in the world, setting the record for the most heads shaved at a single St. Baldrick’s Shave with 960 heads shaved.

After 12 years of running and hosting McHenry’s Community Shave, MCHS has decided that this will be the last year they will be putting on the event, though concerns about COVID-19 have forced the district to cancel the event. While the reasons behind this decision are in the best interests of the high school, St. Baldrick’s should continue beyond this year in our community.

The Community Shave has been a great sense of pride in McHenry for so many years. It’s an event that brings the whole community together and does so much good for so many people. Local salons, businesses, first responders, and community members attend the event, and either join a team of shavees or offer their support for people going bald and the cause itself. St. Baldrick’s is an opportunity for McHenry to stand together in support of a good cause and build strong relationships that will benefit the entire community.

Beyond building up our own community, our St. Baldrick’s Community Shave impacts the world. Over the years, McHenry has raised over $1 million in support of finding a cure for childhood cancer.

St. Baldrick’s also impacts families in our local community. Through fundraising events in the weeks leading up to the big Community Shave night, like t-shirt sales, tournaments, and penny wars, money is raised for these local families that have children battling cancer. These funds help families ease the financial struggles of parents being unable to work, long distances from hospitals, and huge medical bills. Without holding events like these in the weeks leading up to the Community Shave, families in the community won’t have the extra financial support.

While the future of a Community Shave in McHenry is uncertain, we should fight to continue the tradition of St. Baldrick’s as a community. This event is important to so many people in the community and no other event compares to it.