Battle of the Bald brings shaved heads, cancer awareness

Greta Chevance
Members of NYU Love Your Melon tabled at the first Battle of the Bald event at NYU.

NYU students shaved their heads on Friday afternoon at the Rosenthal Pavilion as part of the university’s first Battle of the Bald. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation partnered with NYU Circle K to host the event and help increase awareness and fight childhood cancer by raising money for pediatric cancer research.

Jack Curzon, LS sophomore and an event organizer, said that the St. Baldrick’s Foundation reached out to NYU Circle K over the summer with the hope of getting NYU involved in the organization’s efforts.

“In general, when it comes to social impact and service on campus, these types of events help to get students in the know, and make the impact firsthand,” Curzon said. “The money raised from the event will go directly to St. Baldrick’s pediatric cancer research.”

The event included raffles, videos telling the stories of cancer patients, head shavings by The East Village Barbershop, and merchandise. Curzon is one of many participants who will have their heads shaved at Battle of the Bald.

Hayley Hansen, CAS sophomore and lead treasurer for NYU Battle of the Bald, has been dedicated to getting Love Your Melon involved in the initiative.

Love Your Melon is an apparel organization who pioneered the “Buy One, Give One” program that donated 45,000 hats to child cancer patients in the United States, enough to ensure every child battling cancer received a hat.

“It is good to have the NYU name on such importance research,” Hansen said. “Childhood cancer research receives less than 4 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s funding, and we feel it is important to change that. Love Your Melon hopes to donate $1 million to both the Pinky Swear Foundation and CureSearch for Children’s Cancer to help them continue their efforts.”

Curzon hopes by attending the event, students will have a better idea of how pediatric cancer research and childhood cancer treatments work.

“Unless we make this kind of information accessible to a college student, it will not necessarily be something that they will go out and learn about on their own,” Curzon said. “Battle of the Bald is an initiative that gives students the knowledge about something they may not have previously had knowledge about.”

Circle K has been planning the event since the beginning of the fall semester, and hopes to raise $5,000 dollars at this year’s Battle of the Bald. Circle K will continue to fundraise for the cause after the event by encouraging online donations.

Love Your Melon is partnering with Pinky Swear, an organization that provides financial and therapeutic support for child cancer patients, as well as CureSearch, which funds cancer research. Love Your Melon is donating 50 percent of net proceeds earned from merchandise they sell to these organizations.

Samantha Loeffler, Steinhardt senior and member of NYU Love Your Melon, was involved in planning this year’s event.

“We had meetings once a week for the past month or so to gear up for the event and find performers, different people to volunteer to shave their heads, and sponsors such as barber shops,” Loeffler said. “It was tough because it is NYU’s first time taking part in Battle of the Bald, but its been a good process overall.”

Silver junior Alyssa Hornyak is hopeful that NYU’s participation will increase recognition of these organizations.

“We are dedicated to helping kids with cancer, and finding a cure,” Hornyak said. “We want to support children and families in any way we can. Hopefully the awareness raised from this event will pave the way for next year.”

Email Greta Chevance at [email protected]

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