West Rowan Middle School’s ‘Shave to Save’ raises thousands for children’s cancer research

Published 12:05 am Saturday, March 4, 2017

By Andie Foley

Salisbury Post

SALISBURY – Students, faculty and friends of West Rowan Middle School enjoyed a time of fun and fellowship Friday night during the Shave to Save fundraiser.

Proceeds benefited St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to children’s cancer research.

Shave to Save was held in the school gymnasium and was orchestrated by seventh-grade science teacher and student council adviser Katie DeAngelo. Participants, called “shavees,” volunteered to have their heads shaved in exchange for donations. Shavees included West Rowan faculty and staff, students and friends of the school from as far away as Boston.

The student council’s goal was to raise $5,000. At the start of the fundraiser, it was nearly three-quarters of the way there.

Students were excited about the opportunity to support St. Baldwin’s cause.

“I thought about it and realized that kids with cancer don’t get to have hair like I do,” said seventh-grader Dustin Kirby after his haircut. “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”

DeAngelo learned about this type of fundraiser during her summer work at Camp Graham in Henderson. Her friend and fellow camp counselor, Rita Bardon, had her head shaved at a similar event last year.

For both Bardon and DeAngelo, the cause of childhood cancer is close to their hearts.

“My best friend died of cancer in the second grade,” DeAngelo said.

Both women have worked closely with the children at Camp Kaleidoscope, a summer camp held at Camp Graham for adolescents treated at Duke Children’s Hospital for chronic illnesses and other health problems.

DeAngelo raised nearly $2,000 to have her own long brown locks shaved.

Megan Gale, another of DeAngelo’s friends from Camp Graham, raised over $1,400. Friday happened to be Gale’s 18th birthday.

“I was nervous about how my head would look,” Gale said with a laugh after being shorn.

But with a fresh buzzcut, Gale was nothing but smiles.

Gale’s parents traveled from Raleigh to watch her meet the shears.

“I wasn’t crazy about the idea at first,” said her mother, Liz Gale. “But for an 18-year-old to feel that passionately about something — I’m pretty proud of her.”

Bardon, now with dark pixie-length hair after her own shearing last year, is confident her friend won’t regret her decision.

“I raised $2,500,” she said of the Raleigh fundraiser in which she participated. “It was the best feeling in the world.”

St. Baldrick’s will invest the money with researchers at hundreds of institutions worldwide, supporting projects to find cures for kids with cancer. For more information about St. Baldrick’s work, visit www.stbaldricks.org.