Carthage hosting St. Baldrick's event supporting child cancer research – panolawatchman.com

Carthage hosting St. Baldrick's event supporting child cancer research – panolawatchman.com

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Clear skies. Low 68F. Winds light and variable.
Updated: September 23, 2022 @ 3:17 am
April Mae Smith, left, and Jennifer Waldrop both plan to have their heads shaved to support kids’ cancer research on Saturday at the “Be Brave and Shave” event set from 4-9 p.m. in the parking lot of Wings and Whitetails in Carthage. The event supports St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Waldrop’s locks measure about 16 inches long.

April Mae Smith, left, and Jennifer Waldrop both plan to have their heads shaved to support kids’ cancer research on Saturday at the “Be Brave and Shave” event set from 4-9 p.m. in the parking lot of Wings and Whitetails in Carthage. The event supports St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Waldrop’s locks measure about 16 inches long.
“Be Brave and Shave” is the theme for a Saturday fundraiser set in Carthage.
The event is part of St. Baldrick’s Foundation Conquer Kids’ Cancer research program, according to local organizers Jennifer Waldrop and April Mae Smith.
They will be having their own heads shaved between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Wings and Whitetails, 320 W. Panola St., for the “Be Brave and Shave” event. They encourage others to do the same.
“There are many ways to support,” Smith said.
“They can sign up to be a shavee and collect donations, they can come to the event and support the food trucks, which are donating a portion of their proceeds, or they can donate any amount they want,” she said. “We’ll also have live and silent auctions.”
With the help and support of other volunteers willing to step up to go bald for a cause, they hope to raise $20,000. Several other individuals have also offered to join the cause by getting their heads shaved too.
But there is still time and room for more local residents to volunteer by either committing to have their heads shaved while collecting donations or simply donating to the cause.
To register, to make a pledge or for more information please visit: https://www.stbaldricks.org/events/BeBraveandShave2022.
Online credit and debit card donations can be made in advance or at the event Saturday while cash donations will be accepted during the event, Waldrop said.
Food vendors are scheduled to be on hand and both live and silent auctions will be held. For additional information, call Jennifer Waldrop at (903) 754-7977.
Classic Ice Cream and Pop’s Gettin’ Place food trucks will be at the event with a portion of their proceeds during the event being donated to the cause, Smith said.
Among items included in the live auction are a half of beef, 30 rolls of hay, two guns, a hand-crafted cedar bench, gift certificates and gift baskets and more.
Donating their services to do the hair cutting honors are Kristy Shivers from Shavin’ Grace and Kayla Turner with Turner and Co.
Smith said in addition to supporting cancer research, St. Baldrick’s Foundation also promotes safer, less invasive treatments for children with cancer.
Waldrop said the effort is a personal one for her since she lost a brother to childhood cancer.
“I actually lost my brother to cancer,” she said. “Joey Mitchell Comeaux died three weeks before his sixth birthday. For me, this is a way to honor his memory.”
Smith said her involvement has been spurred by several local recent childhood cancer diagnosis and deaths.
“When Jennifer came to our church and announced she was doing this St. Baldrick’s event, for me, was really just a spiritual calling,” Smith said. “I’m grateful for the four healthy children that I have and the recent losses of children that we’ve had in town have just really pulled me in and driven me to help.
She said assisting in the St. Baldrick’s fundraising is one way to help.
“This is just a small sacrifice compared to what these families go through,” Smith said. “I’m just called to be a presence.”
Waldrop said the event will honor several local families who have been impacted by childhood cancer.
Expected to attend the Saturday event is Shyanne Jones, a 6-year-old who has been in remission for the past year. She will be coming from Oklahoma.
Waldrop said St. Baldrick’s Foundation has raised more than $322 million for child’s cancer research since it was founded in 2005.
“It started with three friends and a dare, ‘Hey, would you shave your head for cancer research,’” she said. “Their first event raised more than $17,000.”
Waldrop first got involved about four years ago when she volunteered to have her own head shaved for child’s cancer research.
“The first time, whenever I shaved, I raised a little over $6,000,” she said. The first local St. Baldrick’s fundraiser was held in 2019 at Chuck’s Smokehouse.
“When we had our first event we raised a little over $10,000, and our goal this year is to raise $20,000 for kids’ cancer research,” Waldrop said.
“I was scared to death the first time I had my head shaved,” she said.
“But after I did it, it was probably the most liberating experience I’d ever had,” Waldrop said. “When I looked at myself in the mirror I just cried knowing that having my hair be gone would attempt to help save at least one kid’s life.”
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