Thursday's head-shaving event was part of many similar ones on St. Patrick's Day to raise money for the organization, which raises money for childhood cancer research.
Two of the 30 participants headed to the salon after school to donate their hair to “Locks of Love.”
Principal Lisa Fraser spoke about the fundraiser’s significance. “The reason St. Baldrick’s Day has been so meaningful to Fisher is because childhood cancer has touched us very closely in our community.”
Fraser went on acknowledge Alexis Briski, a Fisher Middle School sixth-grader who lost her battle with cancer two years ago. “We were saddened and continue to miss Alexis deeply,” said Fraser.
The principal said the event also honors Alex Solis, who was scheduled to start sixth grade in February until his battle with cancer prevented him from attending. Unfortunately Alex was not well enough to take part in the St. Baldrick's event, but his mom, Christy Solis, and grandmother, Rose Petelle, along with Alexis’ parents, Kay and Kael Briski, were present and received a rousing cheer from the crowd.
According to Fraser, “the St. Baldrick’s event and hair shaving is symbolic of solidarity around the challenges of kids who have not the choice to keep their hair or not.”
For some students, the event hit close to home. Alex Beebee, a handsome sixth-grader, sacrificed his full head of brown hair “in memorial of my mother, Michelle, who succumbed to cancer in 2009,” he said. “I really don’t think anyone should have to go through what she did. I’m happy the money will go to cancer research.”
So far the school's fundraising has totaled more than $23,000 and is still climbing. It's an amazing figure, considering this year's goal was $10,000 and last year's take was $3,000. The single largest sum, $4,500, was raised by Ben Clayville, a sixth-grader, whose mother, Holly, is bravely fighting cancer.
In addition to the money raised by Fisher, Los Gatos barbers and hairstylists from Jigsaw donated their time, and even added more than $1,200, which was raised from stylists and clients in 36 hours.
Although the Fisher students seemed to grasp the seriousness of the event, the mood was also joyful. Kids cheered for their friends, and newly shorn boys blushed as they received hugs from admiring female classmates. When asked how his new 'do felt, seventh-grader Mark Ingram smiled and said, “Breezy!”
“Fisher Middle School is still accepting donations, 24/7,” said science teacher Kevin Kinsella, who spearheaded the event.
If Mason Babb raises $3K, his mom has promised to go bald.
Since 2000, St. Baldrick’s has hosted more than 3,900 events around the world.
To donate, visit stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/eventid/4914/eventyear/2011
Los Gatos Patch Editor Sheila Sanchez edited the video accompanying this story.