A charity head shave at a high school raised $71,715 for childhood cancer research yesterday.
Twenty pupils and adults, including staff and parents, at Mount St Agnes Academy, donated to the St Baldrick’s Foundation through the sponsored event.
Another pupil cut their hair to donate it to Locks of Love, a US charity which provides wigs for children because of treatment or disease.
Jacob Hines, 11, collected $1,055 in two months and notched up the highest individual pupil total.
He said: “At first I just tried to get all of my family to donate, and eventually some of my teachers and neighbours donated. I think maybe 15 to 20 people donated overall.”
Jacob, from Pembroke, was one of five members of a team that raised a total of $2,396. He was also one of seven winners of the Squires of Hope Award, which is given to people who take part in the St Baldrick’s event for three years in a row.
He said: “My nana told me that my aunt Tibby had cancer when she was younger, so I started to look more into cancer.
“I also saw some of my friends were doing it, so I just thought that maybe it would be a good idea for me to do it.”
He said that he would likely participate again next year, this time with the goal of $2,000.
Katelyn Dunlop, 13, said that she also cut her shoulder-length hair for Locks of Love, but later decided to go the extra mile and shave her head for St Baldrick’s as well. She said: “I saw people shaving their heads to help other people, and I wanted to help around the world for kids with cancer.
“I was kind of nervous because I saw that I was the only girl in middle school to do it, so it was kind of weird seeing all the boys go up.”
Katelyn, from St George’s, said that she started a campaign on social media in February to collect funds and raised almost $900.
She added that her new sheared hairstyle was a hit with friends. She said: “As soon as my head was shaved all of my friends swarmed me and said ‘Can I touch your head’?”
Kellie Barbosa, an MSA staff member and organiser of the event, took part for the first time as one of five members of Team Rose.
Ms Barbosa said that her team raised $56,195, which made their donation the largest of the event and team still had cash to come in.
She admitted: “I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous and scared to do this, but it wasn’t bad at all — I would do it again if I had to.”
Ms Barbosa explained that she and her team participated in honour of a friend who had been fighting breast cancer since September of last year.
She said: “Knowing that my friend has cancer kind of hits home to you, so we wanted to do our best to show that this is an important and worthy cause.
“We just wanted to show our love and support for Rose, and for her to know that we’re behind her 100 per cent.”