Freshman Zanin leads the way in St. Baldrick’s fundraising


Julian Gonzalez

There’s still time to participate in the “great shave” for St. Baldrick’s Day, as these students did in a recent year.

On Wednesday, March 17, for the 15th consecutive year, Mount Carmel will participate in the fundraising efforts to fight childhood cancer through our support of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a donor and volunteer powered charity committed to aiding the most promising research for childhood cancer.

Every year Caravan students and teachers are challenged to participate in St. Baldrick’s Day by raising at least $50 for the fundraiser. Participants take part in the “great shave,” which means shaving their heads to show solidarity with children who lose their hair during treatments for cancer.

Ordinarily, St. Baldrick’s Day is celebrated at Mount Carmel during an all school assembly, which features entertainment and competitions during the “great shave.”  Often, additional funds are raised during the event as students “buy” the right to throw a shaving cream pie in the face of a faculty member of their choice.

Another frequent part of the event has been the “karaoke challenge,” in which faculty and students lead the entire student body in song.  It was in that memorable tradition that the late Mr. Kevin Hansen became associated with the song “Come, Sail Away.”

Unfortunately, this year’s event will be a little different due to COVID-19 protocols from the State of Illinois and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

While there will be no opportunity for an all-school assembly, there is unlimited opportunity for students to raise funds and to participate in the shave.

Currently, 10 students have registered for the “great shave,” but Mount Carmel Director of Mission and Ministry, Mr. John Stimler, is confident that number will increase as we get closer to the event.  Students who are on remote learning can participate by arranging to shave their heads at home.

According to Stimler, last year “about 50 guys” signed up, although not all ended up shaving their heads due to the COVID-19 shut down. While Mount Carmel raised $7,000 in 2020, the total has averaged about $20,000 in  “normal” years.

Freshman Kevin Zanin is the current fundraising leader for the event, raising over $1,800 so far, but the numbers of participants and dollars pledged are down significantly this year.  Even if you don’t have the courage (or are too self-conscious) to shave your head, you can support Zanin and others who do by making a pledge.

St. Baldrick’s Day is one of Mount Carmel’s great traditions of showing love and care for those who need it.  Everyone is encouraged to make this year’s event every bit as successful as in the past.


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