WHS Fights Pediatric Cancer With St. Baldrick’s Event

Mr.+O%27Halloran+boasts+his+first+place+medal+for+top+St%2C+Baldrick%27s+fundraiser.+Among+staff%2C+he+raised+over+a+thousand+dollars+in+the+span+of+several+months+to+fight+pediatric+cancer.

Mr. O'Halloran boasts his first place medal for top St, Baldrick's fundraiser. Among staff, he raised over a thousand dollars in the span of several months to fight pediatric cancer.

Madison Carral, Editor

Mr. O’Halloran, English elective teacher and first-time St. Baldrick’s advisor, and a group of select students hosted the third St. Baldrick’s Foundation event at Woodbridge High School on September the 29th. Together, and with the assistance of volunteers and staff, they collectively raised close to four thousand dollars to go towards funding research for pediatric cancer.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising money to find cures for children with cancer. WHS has worked in conjunction with St. Baldrick’s this year and in the past by selling promotional products such as wristbands and pins, collecting online donations, and holding an event in which volunteers shave their heads to raise awareness for their cause. 

Mr. O’Halloran began work on the event this past spring and sought out multiple ways of raising funds. “I got together with a committee of students… we tried contacting local areas for donations, which didn’t really work out so hot,” he said. 

“Once [this] school year started, we started doing announcements and soliciting donations from students during lunch. We figured that one immediate and impactful way of getting students involved was to go directly to them rather than waiting for them to come to us,” said O’Halloran.

In another way to raise awareness for both the cause and the event, O’Halloran had his head shaved at the Fall Pep Rally by three select student participants.

Items from the St. Baldrick’s foundation such as donation name sheets, pins, and wristbands were sold to collect money. To promote further within school, participants set up a bulletin board decorated with the names of those who donated money or bought merchandise.

A large majority of contributions came from an online system, with the top student fundraiser being senior Rosemarie Pilla. Rosie, who raised approximately $175 dollars, said, “I feel very accomplished. I am proud of myself for gathering so many donations to a wonderful cause.”

On the day of the event, volunteer shavees arrived to have their heads shaved in solidarity with children who suffer from pediatric cancer. Ms. Gulics, history teacher and cheerleading coach, hadn’t had a haircut since she shaved her head for the first time four years prior at another St. Baldrick’s event at WHS.

“I love being able to show my students, cheerleaders, and my own children that hair doesn’t define you… what’s inside does. I’m the same crazy teacher and coach, just with a bald head,” said Ms. Gulics.

Other shavees at the event included Coach Casey, Coach Calhoun, athletic director Mr. Ward, English teacher Ms. Weber, and principal Lottmann.

Mr. O’Halloran hopes to host the St. Baldrick’s event again for the year 2020 and plans to do more “leg work” to increase donations, township involvement, and shavee turnout. In his words, “I’m really happy to be apart of the Barron family because we clearly look out for other people, and I think that’s what it’s all about.”