Most Holy Redeemer Principal Dan Turney had his head shaved by Evergreen Park Mayor Kelly Burke during the school's St. Baldrick's event on Friday, March 11. (Photos by Kelly White)

Most Holy Redeemer Principal Dan Turney had his head shaved by Evergreen Park Mayor Kelly Burke during the school's St. Baldrick's event on Friday, March 11. (Photos by Kelly White)

Bald is beautiful

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Most Holy Redeemer resumes St. Baldrick’s shaving

By Kelly White

When 6-year-old Luke Sullivan heard about Most Holy Redeemer’s St. Baldrick’s event to take a stand against cancer, he knew immediately that he wanted to be a part. Not only did he do that, he also raised more money than anyone else for the effort.

“I wanted to be a part of St. Baldrick’s to help raise money for sick kids who have cancer,” Luke, 6, of Evergreen Park, said. “My Aunt Melissa has cancer and I wanted to help her. I was so excited to shave my head for the sick kids.”

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a not-for-profit organization with the aim of raising funds to help find cures for children with cancer. As a proud supporter of the foundation, Most Holy Redeemer, held its 10th annual St. Baldrick’s event on Friday, March 11, at the school, 3650 W. 96th St., Evergreen Park.

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Most Holy Redeemer first-grader, Luke Sullivan, 6, of Evergreen Park, was the first to have his head shaved on Friday morning during the school’s St. Baldrick’s event.

“No one fights alone,” Tommy Durkin, 10, of Evergreen Park, said. “I shaved my head and raised money for St. Baldrick’s to help find a cure for all kids fighting cancer.”

In January, a group of eighth-grade students approached Principal Dan Turney with a request to lead a St. Baldrick’s celebration at the school.

“I was incredibly proud of our students for taking the initiative, and the date they requested aligned with our MHR’s Leaders Week, so it was a no-brainer for me,” Turney said.

The students, along with Arlene Baumann, MHR’s guidance counselor who works with eighth-grade committees on special events and projects, led the planning, preparation, and execution of the day from start to finish.

“MHR is a special place: our students, faculty and families are truly hungry to help others,” Baumann said. “Unfortunately, cancer has affected our community in recent years, so participating in St. Baldrick’s Day is near and dear to our hearts. I am so proud of our students.”

The school had to cancel the event last year due to COVID, but students are happy to be able to be a part of the cause again, including Charlie Cushing.

“I shaved my head to support kids with cancer,” Charlie, 11, of Evergreen Park, said. “The money I raised will help find a cure for cancer.”

The event was open to students in preschool through eighth-grade with head shaving being optional. However, more than 50 students stepped up to brave the shave.

For the fundraising effort, students raised money on their own, outside of school, from family friends and local community members.

This year’s event raised more than $14,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The amount of money raised by students continues to increase annually, according to school officials.

Turney encouraged students to raise more than $6,000. By surpassing that amount, Turney joined students and shaved his head, as well. Evergreen Park Mayor Kelly Burke attended to shave Turney’s head on Friday morning in the school’s gymnasium, Briody Hall.

“I remember when my kids were at MHR and they were a part of the first-ever St. Baldrick’s,” Burke said. “All of you are awesome for coming together to give back to others.”

Head shaving was also performed by professionals from Sports Clips of Oak Lawn, who have been volunteering to work the event for the past nine years, along with one parent volunteer.

The event stands behind the school’s mission to always give back.

“The St. Balderick’s event is just one way to help,” Baumann said. “Students are also encouraged to do service for others, encouraging the students to give back to the community as well as to help others in need.”

 

reporter MHR st baldricks2 2022

Pipers kick off the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser last Friday at Most Holy Redeemer School in Evergreen Park.

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