Big Shave raises $118,000 to fight childhood cancer

Theresa Carney couldn’t contain her excitement as she braved the shave for her fifth year in a row. Carney is captain of the Shaving Always Makes Cents team, which raised $2,300 for childhood cancer research.

The 11th annual St. Baldrick’s Big Shave fundraiser, which helps finance childhood cancer research, returned to The Avenue Viera on Saturday, May 15.

More than 130 people braved the shave in hopes of bringing awareness to childhood cancer. In total, the community raised $118,000.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate 11 years of St. Baldrick’s here in Brevard,” said Michelle Reyes, The Avenue Viera’s marketing coordinator. “To be a part of this life-changing fundraiser is an honor. We’re fighting to give kids afflicted with cancer a future, and we couldn’t feel more blessed to be part of that mission.”

According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, 300,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. In the U.S., more children die of cancer than any other disease.

The Big Shave raises funds for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation by encouraging people to sponsor shavees through monetary donations. Shavees had to make a minimum of $50 to participate.

With more than 16 participating teams, the St. Baldrick’s Big Shave fundraiser got competitive. Health First’s Blake’s Brigade came out on top after raising $31,000. Team D5 raised $21,000 while Brevard County Fire-Rescue (Brevard’s Bravest) donated $11,000.

“My favorite part about these events is watching everybody tear up when their family member gets their head shaved,” said Tom Neidert, the event coordinator and Brevard County Fire-Rescue district chief. “A majority of people know someone who’s been affected by cancer. It really does tug at your heartstrings.”

To learn more about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, visit Neidert said the Space Coast chapter of St. Baldrick’s will continue to accept donations for the next several weeks.