Eleven years ago, Basin Electric supported a head-shaving event to raise money for a national pediatric cancer research organization. Throughout the years, it has grown by leaps and bounds, moving from the board room at Basin Electric’s headquarters to a packed event at the Bismarck YMCA and beyond Bismarck to locations across North Dakota, South Dakota, and even into Wyoming.
The focus of support has expanded over the years, moving away from solely childhood cancer research to a more local approach with the start of the Brave the Shave Family Fund, which supports area families with the many added expenses that accompany a childhood cancer diagnosis, while continuing support for research.
This year, Brave the Shave has undergone another exciting change. In January 2018, it ventured out on its own, receiving its federal IRS designation as a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt charity and is now independent of Basin Electric.
Basin Electric still supports this worthy cause, recently pledging $150,000 over the next three years. And though Brave the Shave is now an independent charity, Basin Electric employees are still actively involved in Brave the Shave and its activities, whether it’s volunteering their time, donating to their favorite individual shaving, or shaving their own heads, just as they have done in the past.
Following is a list of Basin Electric employee-led teams:
“Basin Electric is proud to support Brave the Shave and congratulate it on stepping out on its own,” says Curt Pearson, Basin Electric’s director of communications and creative services. “We urge other area businesses to show their support for this very worthy charity that helps so many families during an extremely challenging time.”
It’s a word with many synonyms – awesome, significant, important, awe-inspiring and unforgettable. When it comes to describing Brave the Shave, all of these adjectives are applicable, but monumental is the perfect representation. I’m going to tell you a little about this monumental organization and let you decide for yourself if you agree.
Brave the Shave was established for fundraising for pediatric cancer research. It was during this time that Brave the Shave discovered a need to provide support to not only the research of pediatric cancer afflicting so many children, but also to provide assistance to the families of these little fighters.
To fulfill this desire, the Brave the Shave Family Fund was created. The Brave the Shave Family Fund has a committee that reviews each request from families. The money that is raised through fundraising and sponsorships is divided between these two efforts based on a review if the needs of The Family Fund and the evaluation of research opportunities. As of 2018, Brave the Shave continues to support both of these efforts. Brave the Shave’s research support comes through a partnership with the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation.
A Huge Weight Lifted
Being a parent is stressful enough. Now there’s this life-changing diagnosis your precious child has cancer? The mind races like the heart during this time. Believe me, my family knows this first hand. Our son Chase was diagnosed with Philadelphia Chromosome Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at age 6 on Nov. 3, 2016.
Once we began to come to grips with what was happening that it was real and not a dream, and the shock was beginning to lessen, we received a phone call from a friendly voice from Brave the Shave. They expressed their sympathy for having experienced the diagnosis of our loved one, but also reassured us that we will be far from alone as we embark on the journey of treatment and recovery.
As a child begins to go through treatment, the expenses begin to pile up almost immediately. Medical bills are far from the only expenses a family begins to incur. A big expense is travel. Things such as food, lodging, transportation, etc. As much as we all wish it could, life does not stop. In most situations a parent will either have a significant reduction in work or have to stop all together. This can cause a family to easily fall behind and begin to feel unbelievable stresses and worry constantly about how they will ever get caught up again.
This is where Brave the Shave steps in to help. They believe strongly that the most important thing a family with a loved one battling cancer can focus on is the care and health of their precious child, as well as trying to maintain a sense of normalcy at home. To do this, families can submit a request for financial assistance with something that they are struggling to afford. This takes a huge weight off the shoulders of a family and allows them to use that time to concentrate on family and the treatment of their warrior battling cancer.
Don’t think for one second that this is where Brave the Shave believes the job is done. They follow social media pages devoted to the child’s journey and stay in constant contact for updates and to make sure that if they can help in any way, they do. They become a member of your family and care about your family just as they do their own!
The Excitement Never Stops
Brave the Shave provides financial assistance, but they don’t stop there. They believe families need to have some fun together and therefore they have created some incredible events.
For the families of the Brave the Shave Honorees, one such event is Brave the Shave Night with the Bismarck Bobcats hockey club. Prior to the game the honorees and their families are invited to a social with pizza and beverages, as well as a gift bag with some incredible goodies including a form of shirt, whether it be a jersey, hoodie, and more displaying that year’s event. Before the game starts, all of the honorees are taken onto the ice for a ceremonial puck drop.
During the game’s first intermission, the coach and a couple players volunteer to shave their heads to show their support. To raise funds, meet new people and provide a setting for the community to get together and show their support, Brave the Shave has created many events for 2018, including the Brave the Shave Flagship Event in Bismarck, ND, Saturday, April 14. Another awesome event is the Guns N’ Hoses event in Bismarck Wednesday, April 11. This event features local law enforcement (the Guns) challenging the local firefighters (the Hoses) to see who can raise more. There are five other Brave the Shave events in North Dakota scheduled for 2018 thus far.
For Brave The Shave to continue providing the financial assistance to families and assemble events, they need donations. There are ways you can participate, whether attending an event or simply choosing to make a donation, any contribution helps Brave the Shave take care of local families with a child battling cancer.