On Halloween dozens of students will shave their heads, not for the sake of a good costume but to raise awareness for pediatric brain cancer.
“Shavetober: A Shave for the Brave” will take place 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday in the Muenster University Center Pit Lounge. Shaved hair will be donated to the Locks of Love Foundation, and proceeds will go toward the Team Jack Foundation, which supports pediatric brain cancer research.
Last year, 128 students participated in the first event. A total of 124 inches of hair was donated for Locks of Love, and $2,677 was raised. The Oct. 31 date was chosen not because of the holiday, but because it was the first day before No-Shave November.
The Golden Key Honor Society is hosting the event, and Jordyn Larson, a junior and president of the USD chapter, said the group is preparing for this year’s event by tabling in the MUC, signing up volunteers and finding sponsors.
“This is something that everyone can do,” Larson said. “You don’t have to be athletic because it’s not a 5K run. It really promotes student participation, and it’s for a good cause.”
But sign-up numbers aren’t always accurate for how many volunteers will show up to shave their heads, Larson said.
“Last year, a lot of people just showed up,” she said.
Larson said some women will have their hair cut into a bob and touched up by their own stylist instead of shaving it. Still, a lot more males than females participate, she said.
“For girls, it’s a lot harder,” Larson said.
Junior Sam Goff shaved her head as part of the event last year. At first, she didn’t realize she agreed to shave her head. She simply thought she’d watch others shave theirs. When she found out, Goff initially planned on backing out, but then changed her mind.
“I asked myself why I was saying no,” Goff said. “After not that much consideration, I realized that I simply was afraid of what I would look like. When putting my vanity against working to save the life of a child, I couldn’t stick with it.”
Goff said she currently is unsure if she’ll participate again this year because her hair isn’t long enough to donate yet.
Senior Christina Schroeder founded and participated in Shavetober last year by shaving her head. She became aware of the Team Jack Foundation after her friend’s cousin, Jack Hoffman, was life-flighted to the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., after a seizure. Schroeder, who is currently studying abroad in Costa Rica, will continue to participate and has even spread the event to a new country.
“There are two girls here in Costa Rica who, after learning of Shavetober, have chosen to participate in the event,” Schroeder said via email. “One will be shaving her head completely; the other, a pixie cut.”
Schroeder said the hair will still be sent to Locks of Love, and she will wait to shave her head until her hair is long enough to donate.
For the event’s first year, Schroeder said the group wanted an event that went beyond simply raising funds.
“The event was designed to demonstrate the importance of awareness in an unforgettable and emotional style, asking participants to shave their locks for the children who lost that choice,” Schroeder said.
For the group, last year’s turnout made the event a success.
“I feel like they were just really happy they were doing something they believed in,” Larson said. “They weren’t thinking about the hair and how it was going to take a while to grow back.”
(Photo: Christina Schroeder get her head shaved during last year’s “Shavetober.” Last year, 128 students participated in “Shavetober: A Shave for the Brave.” All hair collected from this year’s event will be donated to the Locks of Love Foundation and proceeds will go toward the Team Jack Foundation, which supports pediatric brain cancer research. File photo / The Volante)