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Shear determination to combat cancer

  • BHS students  get involved at the St Baldrick's Day shave-off (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

More than 40 people are bracing themselves to go under the razor tonight to help raise funds for children with cancer.

For the 16th consecutive year, members of the public have volunteered to have their heads shaved as part of St Baldrick’s festivities.

According to St Baldrick’s Bermuda chairwoman Vittoria Canale, 43 people have stepped forward to have their heads shaved this year, and so far more than $115,000 has been raised.

“It’s really exciting, and it’s going to be a really busy night,” she said. “I think it’s also special that this year it’s actually happening on St Patrick’s Day, the anniversary of when the event began internationally.”

She said that what began as a single day event in which a trio of friends in a pub decided to see how much they could raise by agreeing to shave their heads has grown every year.

Among those set to be shaved this year are a ten-year-old boy who, Ms Canale said, would be having his first hair cut ever.

“He was asking for a haircut, but when he heard about the fundraiser he decided that this was the right opportunity,” she said.

“We also have two players from the Pembroke Hamilton Club’s youth team who will be stepping forward in recognition of a team-mate who is in treatment overseas.”

They are far from the only young people taking part in St Baldrick’s this year, she said, owing to the rising number of schools who are hosting their own St Baldrick’s events, turning the one-night tradition into a weeklong affair.

Students at Bermuda High School and Mount Saint Agnes have already held events, with Saltus and Warwick Academy students feeling the shears today.

“I’m a year past being a shavee myself, and it was a phenomenal experience,” she said. “It’s a fantastic way to stand in solidarity with children who have cancer, whether you do it for a child you know or doing it to give back to the many children fighting cancer who you don’t know.”