St. Baldrick's returns to Defiance

By TARYN LAWSON lawson@crescent-news.com Published:

After a successful debut in Defiance last year, the St. Baldrick's Foundation head-shaving fundraiser is back and will take place at Bloomfield's Haircut Company, 224 Clinton St., May 11 from 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

The St. Baldrick's Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers.

Across the nation, local volunteers like Chris Bloomfield and his staff give their time to organize head-shaving events to raise money for the foundation.

Those daring enough to go bald for a cause at the Bloomfield's event can join the team and begin collecting pledge money now by logging on to www.stbaldricks.org and searching for the "Bloomfield's Haircut Company" event page. From there, you can join Bloomfield's team, create your own team with family or friends, or pledge a donation to a specific group or participant.

Event co-organizer Steven Bartel said this year's St. Baldrick's event is being held in memory of Tiana Bishop of Defiance, who lost her battle with cancer in 2011.

It was also Tiana who inspired Chris Turner of Defiance to organize last year's event. This time around, Turner's 13-year-old daughter, Caroline, will be returning to St. Baldrick's as a "shavee," letting one of the St. Baldrick's volunteer barbers cut her hair in honor of Tiana.

"She wanted to do this last year with her friend, Teya, but dad was just not ready for it," Turner said of Caroline, who has donated hair three times before. "We have always been proud of her for donating her hair."

Turner added that last year's event far surpassed organizers' expectations.

"Our goal was $10,000, and we raised over $28,000 thanks to all of the kind and supportive people here in Defiance," she said.

In 2012, St. Baldrick's Foundation awarded more than $25 million in grants.

The foundation provides more money in childhood cancer research grants than any entity besides the U.S. government.

By going bald, participants are raising money to fund this research, and expressing solidarity with the more than 160,000 million children worldwide who are diagnosed with cancer each year.

The community is invited to see Caroline and others lose their locks -- and to pledge their favorite participant -- at the event. Walk-in shavees are welcome.

For more information, visit www.stbaldricks.org or call Bloomfield's at 419-782-7987.

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