Each participant has his or her own reason for shaving or cutting their hair. There is a teenage sister who is lopping her lovely long locks to support her brother who was recently diagnosed with cancer. A mom who is doing it so her head will match her daughter’s after she undergoes brain surgery next week. A mother honoring the memory of her forever five-year-old little boy who fought a good fight. And hundreds more who are just doing it because they want more than anything to ease the struggle of families who have a child with cancer. While the reasons are all a little different, they all share a common theme: they’re doing it for the kids.
Today is a big day in the Bismarck-Mandan community – it’s the day more than 200 bald heads will emerge from the Missouri Valley Family YMCA to signify that they stand with kids in our community and region who are battling cancer. So far, they’ve raised more than $220,000 and the number continues to rise.
In its 10th year, the Brave the Shave campaign is benefiting more than 65 families in the region dealing with a childhood cancer diagnosis through the Brave the Shave Family Fund. Honoree families have called the Family Fund, “amazing, guardian angels on earth, a miracle, a shelter during a storm, a ray of sunshine in a very rainy season, an umbrella when it’s pouring, and a best friend that understands when others simply can’t.” The campaign will also support pediatric cancer research through the Andrew McDonough Be Positive (B+) Foundation.
The event begins at 1:30 p.m. and will open with a special ceremony honoring the Brave the Brave the Shave honorees we fondly refer to as “super kids” who will receive VIP badges from area teens dressed as superheroes. WATCH LIVE: https://bravetheshave.coop/
In addition to the honoree entrance, the event will include comments by Joe McDonough, founder of the Andrew McDonough Be Positive (B+) Foundation, the research arm of this year’s campaign. B+ honors the life of Joe’s son, Andrew, who battled leukemia, septic shock, and complications of childhood cancer for 167 days before passing away at the age of 14. Andrew’s B+ blood type became his family’s and friends’ mantra throughout his fight against cancer – to “be positive.” Joe gave up his career to start this foundation, and he is deeply committed to the cause.
Some of the teams going bald at the event include:
- Basin Electric – Bald by Design. Basin Electric brought Brave the Shave to the region 10 years ago and will feature a number of participants who have shaved for several years in a row.
- MDU Resource’s team, MDUR’s Bulbheads, which features Doug Nelson, who recently won the title of “Bismarck’s Best Beard.” Doug has been doing beard modeling for calendars and runway shows, and will shave his claim to fame off during the event.
- Pansy’s Peeps, the event’s largest team with 42 members. Team members dyed their hair this week a rainbow of colors and designs prior to getting shaved.
- Team Hearts Hope & Hair, a brother-sister team made up of 10-year-old Kenzie and 7-year-old Briton. Both have grown their hair so it can be donated and made into wigs for kids with cancer. Kenzie will shave and donate 18 inches of hair and Briton will shave and donate eight-and-a-half. This team raised the most money by the smallest team.
- NISC has a team rallying around 5-year-old honoree Jadyn, who completed treatment in November and has chosen to shave at the event.
- There are 14 honoree teams total, including Cully’s Crew Cuts, Team Hunter, Team Ryker, All Jazzed Up, Cooper’s Crew, Zakk’s Attack on Cancer, Chase’s Superhero Squad, Go Grace Go, Team Jiry, Team Landon, and Landon’s Warriors. All have parents and other family members shaving as well as members of their incredible support system.
Since 2008, more than 2,200 volunteers have shaved their heads and raised $2.2 million to help fight childhood cancer.
Joining Basin Electric as prime sponsors of the event are North American Coal Corporation, Bismarck Cancer Center, Garrison-Max Ambulance District, and CHI/St. Alexius. Stylists from local salons Spa D’Athena, Luxe Beautique, Man Cave Grooming, Salons on 40th, and Golden Comb Salon & Day Spa will provide the hair removal service. Site sponsors for the week’s other events were Bismarck Motor Company/Kupper Automotive, Imagine Home Center, and Missouri Valley Family YMCA.
In addition to hair cutting and head-shaving, this year’s flagship event includes children’s crafts, an online auction, face painting, local mascots, and Miss North Dakota.
Join us today or support the cause with your donation.