One Family Moves Their Passion for St. Baldrick’s Across the United States

by Rebecca Bernot, St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 23, 2015

From the Northeast to the Southwest: The Whitney family loved St. Baldrick’s so much, they brought it with them across the country. Read on to learn why.

The Whitney family at St. Baldrick's events in 2011, 2012 and 2012
When 11-year-old Jack and 9-year-old Mason learned they were moving from Fairfield, Connecticut, to Houston, Texas, they were a little bit anxious — but not for the reasons you might think.

According to their mom, Christyn, “One of the first questions they asked was, ‘Can we still shave our heads for St. Baldrick’s in Houston?’”

The boys had come to love their annual local St. Baldrick’s event. By that time, shaving their heads and raising money for kids’ cancer research had become something of a tradition among their peers. So before they left Connecticut, Christyn made a promise to her sons: “If we can’t find a St. Baldrick’s event in Houston, then I’ll organize one.”

More from the blog: 3 Reasons Why I'm Shaving My Head
After they moved to Houston in the summer of 2012, Christyn found a few St. Baldrick’s events in the area, but she wanted something that her sons and their new friends could really drive. “It was important to me to have an event that was similar to what we’d experienced in Connecticut,” she explained. “The focus was more on the kids and what they were doing, and that was kind of what I had in my mind.”

What Christyn loved about their hometown event — and what she hoped to bring with her to Houston — was the idea of kids helping kids in a way that wasn’t just a one-and-done deal. “It’s one thing to go out and sell candy bars for your baseball team. But this is something that the kids are actually physically doing to help someone else, and it’s a physical reminder of the good deed that they’ve done,” she said.

Want to get your school involved with St. Baldrick’s? Check out these five ideas >

That first year, Christyn’s event at Bunker Hill Elementary School shaved 25 heads, most of them students’. Last year, the number of shavees doubled, and Christyn’s expecting an even bigger turnout this year as the event picks up support in the community.

Bunker Hill Elementary shavees 2014

Some of the Bunker Hill Elementary shavees in 2014.

And next year? “I’m hoping next year we’ll have to find a bigger venue,” she said.

For Christyn, it’s not a tough sell. She lets the atmosphere of the event draw people in and keep them coming back year after year. “When I tell people about it, I describe it as a family-friendly party to honor all of these people who are doing such a good thing. And that’s really the feeling that I hope people walk away with.”

A head-shaving event is like a party for good. Find a St. Baldrick’s event near you or organize your own!


Read more on the St. Baldrick’s blog: