Eric Rizzi, '20, participates in Lehigh's St. Baldrick's Fundraiser on April 19 in Lamberton Hall. St. Baldrick's is an organization that aims to "take childhood out of cancer" through head-shaving fundraisers. (Madeleine Sheifer/B&W Staff)

Students shave heads, raise over $12,000 for cancer research

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Joe Guzikowski, ’20, decided to make a change in Lehigh philanthropy events.

Cancer has taken a toll on Guzikowski’s loved ones, so he wanted to use his experiences to make a difference on campus.

“In the past, philanthropy events at Lehigh have been big social media stunts where people don’t usually do anything,” Guzikowski said. “I wanted to branch off from that and actually have people give something of themselves for the greater good.”

At Lehigh’s first St. Baldrick’s philanthropy event, hosted by Guzikowski’s fraternity Theta Chi on April 19, students watched their peers lose their locks .

Guzikowski was originally hoping to get at least 6 shavees and $5,000.

On the night of the event, 13 shavees participated, consisting of both Lehigh students and local Bethlehem residents. Through their collective efforts, they raised $12,490.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation focuses on childhood cancer research and raises much of its money through shaving events like the one at Lehigh. Shavees register online, and they request contributions from friends and family through a donation link.

Caralyn Roeper, ’21, raised $4,800 and boasted the top donor medal at the event. This amount included aid from an anonymous donor under the name “guardian angel.”

Roeper used social media to reach out to others for donations. She was driven by a desire to grow her hair back alongside her father, who recently finished chemotherapy.

Roeper appreciated the support she received from her peers.

“The fact that I am going to be wearing a representation of generosity and compassion is important to me,” Roeper said. “It will also force me to be more confident in myself.”

Roeper gave a speech after receiving her award, encouraging fellow students to take action in the fight against cancer in different ways. She said shaving one’s head is not the only action that can make a change.

Max Perry, ’21, another shavee, previously participated in St. Baldrick’s events and was drawn back by the good cause it promotes.

“It’s always a great event, and its so much fun being around people who are here to support others,” Perry said.

Guzikowski said he hopes Lehigh will host more St. Baldrick’s events in the future. He encouraged those in attendance to continue looking for other ways to get involved and make a change in the world.

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