From Saving to Shaving – Marty Biron’s Bald For Bucks Journey

Giving back to the community is something Marty Biron always enjoyed as a goalie for the Buffalo Sabres. After retiring from the NHL in 2013, he “wanted to keep that relationship with the community going.” Partnering with Bald for Bucks and the Sabres was the perfect solution.

He initially heard about Bald For Bucks when he was asked to join other players in shaving their heads for cancer cures. Marty was in! He first participated in 2015.

Most recently, he shaved his head live on MSG during intermission where he raised nearly $4,000 for cancer research and patient-care programs at Roswell Park. Being able to participate with pediatric patient Isabella made the event extra special for him.

“To see her smiling through the whole thing and the confidence she showed in front of a big crowd around to watch just made this event so much more meaningful,” Marty said.

The more and more he’s gotten involved with Bald for Bucks, the more and more Marty has become impressed with the community support, especially with schools and students.

“Being able to participate with some of the current Sabres meant a lot to me as a way to be [involved] with a younger generation of NHL players in the same way a senior in high school may bond with a freshman through Bald for Bucks,” he said.

Marty will be shaving his head for cancer cures for the fourth time in 2019. And what’s his advice for those thinking of participating?

“It is a very simple act of support and kindness that means a lot to many affected by cancer. We all have somebody in our lives that is dealing with the emotional and physical burdens that comes [with] a cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery, and Bald for Bucks is a great way to help [raise] funds and awareness.”

Join Marty and Go Bald for Bucks! To participate as an individual or to get your school involved, register here.

Getting Ready to Go Bald as a First-timer

Team Roswell is getting ready to go bald on Wednesday, February 21 at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Roswell employees, their family members and friends come together for this event to show our patients that they are in the brave fight with them. We asked a first time participant and Roswell employee, Danielle Selleck, about her involvement this year. Here’s what she had to say:

What made you decide to Go Bald?

I enjoy helping people and wanted to do something for our patients and their families. Everybody has been affected by cancer somehow or another and it’s scary and stressful and awful. I’ve always admired the various patient programs we have here at Roswell and was pleasantly surprised to see that Bald for Bucks money helps fund those. That said, I was definitely on the fence at first. Every time I saw an email or i2 update about Bald for Bucks, I thought it seemed like a great idea, but then I would chicken out before looking into it further. It wasn’t until I watched a few videos from past events, and specifically seeing other girls and women shave their heads, that I decided I was all in. There is such joy and pride and comradery in everyone’s faces; not a single one of them looked regretful.

What would you say to someone considering going Bald?

Do it! If you’re really thinking about it, just do it. It’s an easy way to make a difference. I’ve been floored by everyone’s generosity and support. Together, my friends, family, and coworkers (and some strangers) have been able to accomplish way more than I could as an individual, and that’s been really exciting. I’m lucky enough to be doing this on my own terms. I want to do what I can (and raise as much money as I can) to help those who aren’t so lucky.

What are you most excited about with this upcoming event?

I’ve never been before, so I have no idea what to expect! Are there cookies? If so, then I’m most excited for the cookies.

Just for that, there will be cookies! To join or support Team Roswell on February 21, visit baldforbucks.org/teamroswell

 

Two Roswell Park Employees Go Bald for the 10th Time!

This year will mark the tenth year that mother and daughter duo, Kathy and Erica Edbauer, have participated in Goin’ Bald for Bucks. Kathy and Erica are both Roswell Park employees, and their passion and commitment for the cause is contagious. Here’s what they had to say about Goin’ Bald:

“We started this tradition in 2009 because we wanted to show our support for our family and friends dealing with this horrific disease. Shaving your head knowing that your hair will grow back is such a minor price to pay to show support for those that are suffering. We feel blessed to be able to be a very small part of this event. One person alone cannot change the path of this disease, but we hope that by doing this year after year, we have helped at least one person feel like they are not alone on this journey. Seeing everyone come together to show support and raise awareness is the best part of event day.”

We hope that you will consider joining participants like Kathy and Erica on Wednesday, February 21 when Team Roswell goes Bald!

Register to participate or support the team today.

Featured Participant: Reid Okoniewski

Q: What made you decide to go Bald for Bucks?

A: A lot of things contributed to how I started getting involved with Bald for Bucks. The main reason that inspired me to start doing it, and why I still do it to this day, is because of my late grandmother. She had cancer six times. She appreciated when I told her I was doing it, because she knew how hard I was working, not just to raise money for Roswell, but how hard I was working to spread awareness to everybody. She was such a warrior and that’s why she has inspired me to continue this for 10 years.

 

Q: What would you say to someone who is considering shaving their head or cutting their hair?

A: It’s a great way to get a haircut (haha)! All kidding aside, Bald for Bucks is such a great way to help promote awareness and the importance of further cancer research. You may not realize it, but you’re changing lives, and that’s great!

 

 

Q: What has this experience meant to you?

A: This experience has meant the world to me. What has motivated me to do it for 10 years has been knowing that I’m making a difference, just by spreading the message. Knowing that I’m also raising money for an organization that is closest to me and has helped my family and friends is a wonderful feeling, because I know it’s being used to change the scope of cancer research.

 

Q: Tell us three fundraising tips that have worked for you.

A: Be creative – Whether you’re hosting an event, or trying to figure out ways to have a unique way of fundraising, get creative. No idea is stupid.

 

 

Offer Incentives to YOUR supporters – As a lot of Bald for Bucks participants know, we like to raise money so we get the cool prizes (hats for the bald head, tickets to a concert, etc.). As much as you like them, your supporters are more willing to contribute if there’s a chance they could also receive something. Consider doing a special drawing (every $10 donated = a chance to win a gift card) or create special tokens (cancer ribbons at your event for $1) to give to your supporters.

Never stop saying “thank you” – The moment you receive a donation, whenever you see someone that mentioned how great of a job you’re doing, whenever a local business decides to help you out, always say thank you. You can ask any of my family and friends, I’m always thanking them for their support. Now only does it help you reach your goal, but it’s also a way to stay connected with your supporters down the road. You can never say thank you enough.

Q: How has going Bald impacted you, your family and your friends?

A: Goin’ Bald for Bucks has greatly impacted my relationships with family, friends and colleagues. Everyone always looks forward to when I get my “spring haircut”. This all goes back to my motivation, my grandmother. It strengthens relationships and brings people closer together knowing that we’re all working together to fight cancer; whether it’s actually having the disease or being the moral support for a patient, we’re all fighting together. When my grandma died in 2015, there was a quote from Stuart Scott that really stood out, “you beat cancer by HOW you live, WHY you live, and in the manner in which you live.”

 

 

Featured Participant: Destiny Keiper

 

On November 18, Destiny Keiper from Lakeland, FL went Bald for Bucks with friends and family supporting her by her side.

Last  year, when Destiny was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society, she and the other members were told to try and make an impact in the community. It was then that she decided to Go Bald and get others involved by forming “Team Lakeland.”

She states, “I chose to Go Bald to prove that beauty is on the inside and not the outside. I am a model for a few companies and have proved that I am still beautiful even without hair.”

Destiny went Bald in honor of three very special people in her life; her cheerleading coach and owner of Lakeland Express All-Stars, Kimberly Brock, her uncle Donald Danner, and Elysa Vulpis, owner of Dream Designs/Glam It Up who she models for.

Destiny raised over $250 and shared her best fundraising tips with us:

  1. She got a local store, Bulk Nation, to team up with her. They selected a day where a certain percentage of the total sales went towards Destiny’s fundraising.
  2. She and her family stood outside of local stores telling customers about Roswell Park and Goin’ Bald and were able to collect donations throughout the process.
  3. Together with her family, Destiny handed out several of the Bald flyers around the community and even had it published in the local newspaper!

Destiny stated, “The best part of shaving day was the excitement and anticipation of having my head shaved and seeing the look on my friends and families faces. Also, it was great knowing deep down inside that 17.5 inches of my hair is being donated to someone that needs it more than me.”

The Team Lakeland participants raised over $1,900 for Roswell Park. Hats off to Destiny and her team!

 

Featured Participant: Zoe Zutes

Zoe, a student from East Rochester, decided to go Bald for Bucks to support her best friend, Hannah, who is battling cancer. East Rochester’s Goin’ Bald for Bucks event raised over $7,000 for 13Thirty Cancer Connect and Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Inspired by her best friend’s battle with cancer, Zoe decided she was going to shave her head.  That’s when she introduced Goin’ Bald for Bucks to East Rochester.

Zoe said, “Our team asked anybody and everybody to either try and make a donation or just spread the word.” She posted links on her social media and had her mom do the same on her Facebook and Instagram accounts. Zoe’s fundraising advice is, “don’t stress if you didn’t reach your goal, just keep trying.” Her calm and relaxed approach for fundraising truly paid off!

Zoe’s Goin’ Bald for Bucks experience strengthened her relationship with Hannah. She encourages participants who are thinking about shaving or cutting their hair to “just do it. Don’t worry about it, you’ll probably look fierce with your cute bob, or freshly shaved head.”

Since Zoe was going bald in honor of Hannah, she decided to let Hannah take the clippers to her head. For Zoe, this was an emotional experience- she struggled to fight back tears not because of the hair she was losing, but because of the impact this would have on Hannah.  Zoe described seeing the smile on Hannah’s face as one of the best feelings in the world.

Zoe knew this was the right decision when 15 people came up to shave or cut their hair. She is proud to know the $7,000 her team raised will support teens and young adults fighting cancer, and it warms her heart knowing how many people she has affected.

“It was the best decision I have ever made.”

Featured Participant: Rayn Cooper

Rayn Cooper is only 10-years-old and has already raised almost $1,200 in only two months for Roswell Park Cancer Institute! Rayn will be joining her fellow classmates at Wilson Central School’s Goin’ Bald for Bucks event happening on March 1st.

Rayn will be shaving her head in honor of her grandmother, a seven year breast cancer survivor.

“My mom showed me a video of a little girl cutting her hair for cancer patients and it made me think that I can do that too,” she said.

Rayn writes on her fundraising page that she is inspired by her grandmother’s battle and that is why she ultimately decided to make the cut.

We asked Rayn what her trick is to being an all-star fundraiser. She says that she goes to her favorite stores in her neighborhood and asks them to put out jars to collect money. Every single donation into the jars slowly adds up. In fact, Rayn’s original goal was $800, but now she is on track to hit her new goal of $1,600!

We think you’re amazing, Rayn! We are so excited for Wilson’s Bald for Bucks event coming up in March. Find out when your school’s Bald for Bucks event will be – it’s never too late to start raising money for Roswell Park!

Jeffrey Taylor goes Bald for Bucks!

Jeffrey Taylor went Bald for Bucks this year in honor of Lucas, a strong and determined 14-year-old from Akron, NY, who was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was only 7 years old. After seven years of doctors, hospitals and treatments, Taylor said, “watching his progress, seeing him share and interact with so many people is truly amazing to me.”

This is not the first time Taylor has shaved his head in honor of Roswell Park. Taylor shared, “What originally inspired me was the care I received at Roswell Park personally for myself… My own personal battle has been easy although life changing. I just felt the need to give something back, and my hair is all I’ve got left.”

But Taylor wasn’t alone in his struggle against cancer. Both Taylor’s sister, Colleen, and his father, Joseph, were patients 20+ years ago. They are also the inspiration for his continual efforts to raise money for cancer research.

“They both passed away too young, but maybe they had some impact on the research at Roswell Park,” Taylor said.

Taylor has a lot of fun with his Going Bald for Bucks events, doing different themes for each one. For his first Bald event, he created a “Wanted” poster for every hair on his head. Together with his daughter, Melissa, they raised over $2,000! At his next event, he partnered with his brother Harold in Georgia. They created a “North vs. South” fundraising campaign and together they raised $1,900.

This past event’s campaign was themed “The Truth Will Be Revealed,” as Taylor had enough hair to cover his face. As the hair came off, he revealed a clown’s face instead of his own. This time around Taylor raised close to $1,300.

Taylor’s small town of Akron, NY is very generous in support of Taylor’s efforts to raise money for Roswell. We asked him how he goes about getting his donations.

“My friends, family and local business community are very supportive of my efforts. Akron Chamber of Commerce has allowed me to make my event part of their Thursday Night Cruise Night where I make it fun for everyone. Running up and down the street, half head shaved looking for donations to complete the haircut.”

Taylor said he posts on Facebook and shares with as many people as he can reach. This year, he sat outside of a local supermarket with just a table and some information, collecting $100 in about five hours. Taylor says he talks to people everywhere he goes, explaining where the money goes and letting people know that no matter what the amount, it all adds up.

Taylor shared on his personal blog page: “I want to thank each and every person/business that supported me in the quest to raise funds to support Childhood/Pediatric Cancer research and treatment… I’m going to surprise the staff with my final count and hope it helps in this fight for our kids, our future.”

To anyone thinking about going Bald for Bucks, Taylor says, “If you’re thinking about it, STOP. It doesn’t hurt. It costs you nothing. It helps 1000’s. It’s fun. So STOP THINKING and just join in the fun. The research is life changing and in some cases life-saving. Your hair will come back!”

“We are surrounded by this disease. Everyone knows someone affected by it so I just want to do my part to keep making advances for the future generations.”

Way to go, Jeffrey! Thank you so much for becoming such a big part in the fight against cancer.

News 4’S Katie Alexander is Making the Cut!

Cancer has touched the lives of so many people in my family, in my friends’ families, and around our community. Let’s join forces to fight back!

I will soon cut off nearly a foot of my hair LIVE on air during News 4 Wake Up to create a wig for someone fighting cancer. Together, we can use this opportunity to help find a CURE for cancer so someday no one will have to fight.

Taken from Katie’s blog…

I am very excited (and a little nervous) to cut off so much hair at once. But, as many of you may remember, this is not my first time donating. I’ve actually done it a handful of times at this point, but only for my last cut did I really realize the impact a hair donation can have. I last donated my hair in July of 2015. Like we’re doing this time around, I cut off my hair live on air during News 4 Wake Up. (Search Making the Cut on the WIVB website if you want to watch that moment) But I truly understood what my simple gift meant earlier that morning, when I walked into the station and found a note from a very dear friend who was working as a photographer at News 4 at the time.

David’s mom had lost her fight to cancer earlier that year. With his permission, I’m sharing with you what he wrote:
“While cutting your teases last night, I had to stop because I couldn’t see the computer screen through my tears.
I was with my mom when she got her wig after losing her hair. Seeing her light up while looking in the mirror is something I will never forget.
What you’re doing this morning is wonderful. I just wanted to thank you for doing it. I’m sure you already know this, but this means the world to women that have to go through this.”


To this day, I keep that note pinned to my bulletin board in my cubicle, and to this day, it brings tears to my eyes when I read it.
My heart aches when I think about the pain David and his family went through when David’s mom passed. I admire their incredible strength.
And I’m so grateful to David for pointing out a truth I didn’t really comprehend until that point: To me, what I’m giving is just hair. For the person who receives the wig — and, hopefully, a little hope and strength to keep up their cancer fight — it means so much more.

I am so thankful I have the ability to keep donating my hair. It grows so fast and, fortunately, my bosses have been supportive of me letting my hair go a little wild to get it long enough to give again. But, I want to live in a world where no one needs my hair. I want to live in a world where no one has to fight cancer because we’ve finally found a cure for this awful disease that’s left so many holes in our lives and in our hearts.

Please make a donation today to help Roswell Park find a cure.

Learn how Brayden raised $9,000 by going Bald for Bucks!

Brayden’s Bald for Bucks transformation!
How did you first get involved with Bald for Bucks?

Many members of my family have had cancer.  I knew it was something our school had been involved with but then I learned what Bald for Bucks really meant.  I thought of all of my family that had been affected by cancer and decided to get involved with Bald for Bucks more seriously to raise money for a special cause.

What made you decide to go Bald?

The main reason I decided to go bald was to raise money for not just my family but for everyone’s family who had been affected by cancer.

Why should other kids your age shave their heads?

Kids should shave their heads because this is such a great cause.  Also, if they have family or friends who have cancer, it’s a great way to show them support

Do you have a connection to cancer and/or Roswell Park?

Yes I do have connections with cancer and Roswell Park.  Sadly cancer has affected many of my family members and even friends.  My brothers’ Mom passed away from cancer.  My cousin received her treatment from Roswell and thankfully is cancer free now.  We are lucky to have Roswell Park Cancer Institute in our area.

You have raised almost $9,000 in the last 3 years, how did you reach that outstanding total?

I reached that goal by having a huge support system from all of my family and friends.  Also, I had huge support from my Mom.  She’s the one who helped me make all of my videos and updated everyone on how much I had raised along the way. I expanded my fundraising efforts this year compared to other years.  This year, my Mom drove me around and I hand-delivered letters to local businesses requesting donations.  We also made personal phone calls to friends and family asking them if they would donate as well.

Do you use social media? Did that help your fundraising totals?

Yes, social media has been the main way I’ve fundraised these past few years.  It has definitely helped because I was able to connect to many more people than normal.  We have friends and family all over the world who have supported me through my efforts on social media.  My Mom took videos of me throughout my progress and posted on social media so everyone could see.  They also got to see my hair growing out along the way.  This year I grew it out for 7 months so there was a big change to see! Check out one of Brayden’s videos here.