History


An Idea is Born

Tim Kenny issues a challenge to colleagues John Bender and Enda McDonnell: How will you give back in return for your own good fortune in business? Enda’s thick head of hair gives John the big idea—shave their heads for donations to raise funds for kids with cancer.

Jul 4
1999
The Founders; John Bender, Tim Kenny & Enda McDonnell
Mar 17
2000

The Event Begins

The annual reinsurance industry’s St. Patrick’s Day party, held at Jim Brady’s pub in Manhattan, becomes the first St. Baldrick’s event. The goal of shaving 17 heads and raising $17,000 turns into 19 bald heads and $104,000 donated to fund the research of the Children’s Oncology Group.

2001
John Bender goes under the trimmer

Plans, Tragedy and the Will to Press On

After the 2nd event raises $140,000, John and Enda begin plans to expand beyond the reinsurance industry. When terrorists attack on 9/11, the founders lose hundreds of friends and colleagues.

Despite the tragedy, they decide to forge ahead, because kids with cancer are still fighting for their lives.

2002

The First Million

With 37 head–shaving events in the spring of 2002, shaving heads has now raised more than $1 million!

This volunteer–driven event is catching on across the country.

2003

First Responders

Firefighters, police officers and military troops have been a big part of St. Baldrick's from the very beginning. Thousands have added head-shaving to their public service, with events in police and fire stations across the US, and even military bases in Iraq and Germany!

2004

A Foundation Emerges

Founders make the leap—the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is created to maximize this volunteer–driven effort. The priorities: spending as little as possible to raise each dollar, and making sure every donation goes to the best research to find cures for kids fighting cancer.

Starting Off With a Bang

In its first year as an independent foundation, St. Baldrick's continues to grow exponentially, raising more than $5.3 million. Proceeds go to the cooperative research of the Children's Oncology Group. The first St. Baldrick's Fellow is also funded to train one of the next generation of childhood cancer researchers.

2005
2007

Growth Continues

This year, $12.9 million is raised by over 18,000 shavees at 402 events. The slate of grants now includes hypothesis–driven research grants, scholar awards, and infrastructure support to help local institutions treat more kids on clinical trials, their best hope for a cure.

2010

Advice from Top Researchers

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation hosts its first Research Priorities Summit, attended by 16 of the most respected pediatric cancer researchers in the U.S. The result is an even more well–rounded set of research priorities and funding types, including a new category to improve the quality of life for patients and survivors.

2012

$100 million mark in research grant funding

St. Baldrick's volunteers raise more than $30 million in 2012 by shaving heads and raising funds in bold new ways. This year's record-setting fundraising efforts allow the foundation to mark a milestone—$100 million in childhood cancer research grants since 2005.

And this story is far from over.

With each passing milestone, human lives—the lives of children with cancer—are being dramatically improved through the support of the St. Baldrick's Foundation. The continued momentum of this effort relies on volunteers and has everything to do with one very small but powerful word. You.

Discover how you can help write the next chapter in conquering childhood cancer.

Be a Part of the Story