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.
Krivoruchka bought just one $25 raffle ticket when approached by his girlfriend’s dad, who was participating in the Fishin’ for the Cure tournament.
“My younger brother had a brain tumor so I always try to support causes like this,” he says.
When he got the call that he won, Krivoruchka says he didn’t believe it, thinking it was “a buddy just messing with me. After I hung up, I called the guy back and found out I really did win it. I was pretty excited.”
In all, the raffle brought in $18,482, which will be split between Brave the Shave and Fishin’ for the Cure, all of it going toward childhood cancer research.
“It’s really good to hear that the raffle raised so much money,” Krivoruchka says. “It’s a great cause that’s close to my heart.”
His advice for those considering supporting similar causes by buying raffle tickets? “Buy one. You never know what could happen. You just might get lucky!”
Brave. It’s a word that we’ve all heard a lot lately. It implies courage and strength – sometimes strength that a person never knew they had.
In 2013, a song by the same name was released by singer Sara Bareilles and quickly became popular, an anthem for many people struggling with a major challenge in their life.
One of the biggest struggles anyone could ever face is cancer, especially when it’s a child who is dealing with it. The song, “Brave” has become near and dear to the hearts of many of our Brave the Shavefamilies, so as a tribute to them and all who were courageous enough to go bald for our little superheroes, a video featuring the song was produced.
Thank you to all the participants of this year’s Brave the Shave campaign, and to the kids, the bravest among us, this is for you.
Brookings, S.D. is hosting an event to help fight childhood cancer today, March 20, 2017 at the Brookings Fire Department East Station, 607 20th Avenue in Brookings. Head shaving will begin at 4:30 p.m.
Bismarck-Mandan and beyond sacrificed hair, money, time and talent Friday, March 10, to help fight kids’ cancer. As a result, more than 215 bald heads roam the community.
The 10th annual Brave the Shave flagship event was held March 10 at the Missouri Valley Family YMCA. Hair was flying fast and furious and kids and adults united to raise money for the Brave the Shave Family Fund, which supports local families dealing with a childhood cancer diagnosis and the Andrew McDonough Be Positive (B+) Foundation, which funds cutting-edge childhood cancer research. Gold hair, blue hair, short hair, long hair, to ultimately no hair, there was no shortage of spirit, spontaneity, and generosity.
“It’s unbelievable and so moving to see an entire community come together to support the common goal of fighting childhood cancer,” says Taner Ohlsen, Brave the Shave’s family representative. “The support from area businesses, organizations, and individuals is truly remarkable.”
Since Basin Electric brought Brave the Shave to the region in 2008, nearly 2,500 volunteers have shaved their heads and raised more than $2.5 million to help support area families and fund childhood cancer research.
Several honorees families were in attendance, and some even braved the shave. Twenty area children and five angel families were honored at this year’s event.
In addition to hair cutting and head shaving, this year’s flagship event included children’s crafts, online auction, face painting, balloon creations, and local mascots. Miss North Dakota International was also in attendance.
Donations for the campaign are still being accepted and tallied. Donate to this year’s campaign at bravetheshave.coop.
“Every year we try to beat the previous year’s total, and so far we’ve been fortunate to do that,” Ohlsen says. “We’re hoping to do it again this year, but regardless of the final total, we feel great about this year’s campaign and all the good that came out of it.”
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.
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.