St. Baldtricks

March 23rd, 2013 -


St. Baldrick’s will be hosted by The Claddagh Bar and Grill on March 23rd.  We are well on our way to achieving a successful turn out once again but we still need many shavees to sign up.  To sign up for the event you can go online to www.stbaldricks.org and search for “Mahopac” or “The Claddagh Bar and Grill” or you can find the event on Facebook.    If you are unable to make it to the event please consider making a donation which can also be made online.  If you have any questions you can contact me, Zach Semenetz, at (845)661-3634 or zjs5@cornell.edu.  Please consider contributing to this amazing event, it is a town tradition and a worthy cause.  

-- In 2003, my brother Garrett was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a solid tumor cancer that presented on his liver.  He went through a year and a half of treatment, which included chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.  He lost his hair and endured more pain than any three year old should ever have to.  My family suffered with him and prayed for him.  It was a long and tumultuous journey but one that Garret overcame.   Garrett is now thirteen years old and has been cancer free for almost 10 years.  He is a good student and athlete as well. While Garrett was undergoing treatment, we met many families going through the same struggle.  We were exposed to the world of pediatric cancer and the network of support that these “cancer families” benefit from.  Even though Garrett is healthy, we have not forgotten those challenging times, or the children and families who are still struggling with life-threatening illnesses.

My family and I have contributed to various childhood cancer charities, one of which is the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.  This global organization raises funds for pediatric cancer research through head-shaving events.  The events serve to recognize the struggle of losing one’s hair due to chemotherapy and raise money to help find a cure for cancer.  Since 2007, my family has organized a St. Baldrick’s event here in Mahopac.  Cumulatively, the events we’ve organized over the past six years have raised over $100,000. I began my involvement with this fundraiser during my sophomore year of high school.  I recruited students from Mahopac High School to shave their heads with me and volunteer at the event.  I continued to organize the event throughout my time at Mahopac, and in those three years I was able to recruit nearly one hundred classmates to shave their heads.  After graduating and going off to college I did not think I would continue organizing the event in my home town.  However, thanks to the overwhelming support from Mahopac alumni who wanted to come back during their spring breaks to shave their heads, I’ve been able to continue organizing the event throughout college.  My sister Rebecca has also continued recruiting shavees and volunteers for the event over the past four years.  She is a senior this year and will be going off to college in the fall, but Mahopac High School will still have a family member to continue the fundraising efforts.  Next year, Garrett will be !
 a freshman at MHS and will continue to be a voice in the school for this annual cause. The event itself has been an annual holiday for our town over the past six years.  Hundreds of people come to the event to be barbers, shavees, volunteers, or donors.  It is a wonderful experience with an atmosphere of generosity and community.  People who never thought they could shave their heads will be some of the first ones in line for the barber.  Last year the event raised over $24,000, and we had a great turnout from members of the Mahopac community.  We hope to raise even more money and shave even more heads this year in support of this worthy cause.

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