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Tony George’s Hope for the Future

When you hear the words “Bald for Bucks”, you probably think about shaving or cutting your hair, or the difference you’ll make for cancer patients, but do you know how this life-changing movement started? 

Bald for Bucks was born out of love between a brother and sister.

Tony George was a history teacher at Lake Shore High School when his sister Cathleen was diagnosed with cancer. Throughout her difficult battle, she lost her hair. Tony felt his sister’s distress and promised her he would go bald and stay bald until her hair grew back.

 

“I was not going to sit back and watch her go through this alone. I knew I had to do something to help."

Tony George

When initially Tony felt helpless, he realized how much comfort it brought his sister after going Bald. It felt like the only way to connect and share his sister’s pain and he hopes it connects many other cancer patients with their loved ones. 

When Cathleen lost her battle with cancer, Tony’s devotion to ending cancer continued and grew into Bald for Bucks. Tony’s students, colleagues and school community joined the mission. It all started with Tony wanting to connect with his sister. “It’s not about me. It never was about me. In order for people to be motivated to do this. It can’t be about me. It’s about the person you care about, or you yourself. The more Bald for Bucks can become personal for everyone the better it is.”

There have been many impactful moments throughout the years, but some of Tony’s favorites are the ones that greatly exhibit selflessness. “There was the time a female student Tehya Huff was participating, and her mother was so inspired she too [went Bald.]  Another year, a woman battling cancer came to watch all three of her children participate.  Unfortunately, she lost her battle, but I’d like to think that day is a memory they cherish.”

Tony shares his stories to encourage anyone who wants to make a difference to start today – even if it starts with registering. It’s the first important step in changing lives.  

“My ultimate dream is to have all of Western New York be Bald for a spring. So when cancer patients walk out of Roswell, you can’t tell who’s the cancer patient and who’s not,” said Tony.

Bald for Bucks provides cancer patients with a better quality of life by funding innovative research and patient care programs. “I sacrifice my looks, good or not, to help identify with people who are struggling. It’s a way to show we can take care of each other.”

Bald is not only about making an impact – it’s about showing your loved ones you care. Tony was the first to do it, but he will not be the last.

“My job, as a teacher was not just teaching History but also creating young adults who contribute to society. Bald for Bucks was kind of an extension of my job.”

Tony’s lasting hope for Bald for Bucks is that it continues to bring comfort to those fighting cancer in our community.

If you want to be more like Tony, you can be. It starts with you and can grow into so much more. Pick a change and make it.

 

Donating Your Hair After Bald for Bucks

You're the best.

Thank You!

Your choice to go Bald for Bucks changes cancer treatment and therapies for patients locally and around the world. Looking for ways to give even more?  Donate your hair! Here’s a list of organizations and a few things you need to know before you donate.

 

Recommended Organizations

Consider Donating Here:

Children with Hair Loss

This organization believes in covering young heads by providing free wigs to cancer patients in need. If you are interested in donating your hair to Children with Hair Loss, they require 8’’ of hair minimum, and they accept colored, grey, highlighted and bleached hair.

Locks of Love

Donating to Locks of Love helps return a sense of self and normalcy to financially disadvantaged pediatric patients. Every wig they give is free. Your donation to “LOL” must be at least 10’’. This organization accepts grey hair. They do not accept highlighted or bleached hair.

BeYOUtiful Foundation

BeYOUtiful believes we are better together. Their wigs are given to female cancer patients of all ages free of charge. BeYOUtiful asks that hair donation be 10’’ or longer. They accept colored, grey, and undamaged highlighted and bleached hair.

Wigs for Kids

Wigs for Kids helps children with cancer live their best lives. To donate your hair to this organization, your hair should be 10’’ or longer. They accept colored, grey and undamaged highlighted and bleached hair. Wigs are free to all recipients in this organization. 

 

Questions or Concerns?

Contact us for more information at baldforbucks@roswellpark.org 

 

Thank you!

 

Hannah and Francesca rally their community to go Bald for Bucks

Making a difference.

Gathering their community.

What did two cousins do when their uncle was diagnosed with cancer? They used their close cousin bond to ignite their talents and bring together people from across the country to raise funds for cancer care through Bald for Bucks.

 

Meet Hannah and Francesca. To them, Uncle Chris is everything. They call him their second dad. One of their favorite memories is when his son Jesse graduated from college and Chris and his wife, Carvita, took all 30 of their nieces and nephews to Disney World. 

When Chris was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February 2021  it hit their family like a ton of bricks. When Hannah and Francesca began to look for a way to support their uncle, they found Bald for Bucks.

 

Francesca and Hannah are small business owners. Hannah owns Babbling Bootique and Francesca is a teacher who shares her story as Miss Cutrona’s Classroom. Together, they gathered 11 small shops on Instagram from all over the country to auction their products to raise money for Roswell Park.

“We have all these people who are so talented, who could really contribute through community collaboration. Why not showcase their creative juices? We are supporting the small shop community and supporting Bald for Bucks.”

Hannah

Going Bald for Bucks.

Feel connected.

They came together to cut, shave, style and auction their products to end cancer. And it paid off. They raised over $2,000 for cancer research! “It was a lot of community collaboration that shows how big people’s hearts can be,” Hannah explained. 

 

Cancer touches everyone. Going Bald for Bucks connects you to the cancer community all over the world. Francesca said, “it’s not just about Chris, it’s about the whole community of people who are affected by cancer. I know all our family has been affected by cancer but there are so many other families affected. Of course, we want to support our uncle, but we also want to support the whole community because everyone is affected by cancer.” 

 

Be part of a community.

Hannah and Francesca with "I donated my hair for Uncle Chris" Bald for bucks sign

 “Sometimes we don’t understand the reality of just how big Roswell Park is. We are so spoiled to have it right in our backyard. People come from all over the country to participate in research, study or to receive treatment there.”

Francesca feels like part of the Roswell Park family. “Roswell is a place that does not just support the person who has cancer, they support the entire family. Patients go there and feel like they are part of the family there, too.” 

Choosing to go Bald for Bucks is a no-brainer when you are doing it for someone you love. “By donating our hair and taking a piece of ourselves and giving it to someone else who can use it, shows him that we care,” Hannah said. 

 

There are so many ways to get involved with the Bald for Bucks and use your hair to show you care. Hannah cut 12  inches off her hair, Francesca cut 5 inches and Teddy, Hannah’s student, shaved his entire head.  To rally with them Hannah’s husband shaved his head, and their friend Zach also donated 8 inches of his hair!

 

Going Bald is creative, impactful and fun. There are no rules as to how much or how little you can contribute. All that matters is choosing to make a difference. Take it from Francesca and Hannah, rally your community and make an impact that lasts forever. 

 

Two Bald for Bucks participants with "After #BaldforBucks" sign

Brother sister duo go Bald for Bucks

Emma and Jackson are an unstoppable sibling pair. They both attend St. Gregory the Great and are on a mission to help end cancer. It all started because their two grandpas were diagnosed and treated at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“At our old school, they did a Bald for Bucks every year, and I remember thinking one year, why don’t I try this,” said Emma. Emma is the oldest of the two. The first time she went Bald for Bucks, she dyed a strip of her hair pink. The second year, after seeing his sister’s transformation, Jackson was inspired, and the siblings cut their hair together.

Jackson said the reason he goes Bald is to “show that you are representing people with cancer and that they are not much different from what you are.”

When I go Bald for Bucks, I think of all those people who have died from cancer or are still fighting cancer. I do it so that I can raise money and hopefully one day raise enough money to find a cure.

Emma Payne

These siblings love going Bald for Bucks and they plan to participate for as long as they can. They hope everyone can decide to go Bald, too.  Jackson’s advice is, “Do it, and have a plan to get people to know that you are doing this to donate money.”  

These little rock stars remind us what it means to “be the change we wish to see in the world.” 

Cancer may change how they look, but they are the same as you.

Jackson Payne

If going Bald for Bucks seems like a drastic change, you are never alone, according to Emma.

“People who lose their hair, probably feel like, ‘Oh this is really so weird.’ But it’s really not that bad. When you go Bald for Bucks you can show them that it’s not that bad having your hair cut shorter than other people,” – Emma said.

And Jackson agrees.

Michael’s dedication to Bald for Bucks brings hope

If you look up the definition of “dedication” in the dictionary, chances are you’ll find an image of Michael Otto. He’s an 8th grader at Transit Middle School who has been going Bald for Bucks for the past five years. Over the years, he raised over $12,000 for cancer research at Roswell Park – he’s an incredible young man.

Michael’s dedication to cancer research at such a young age is astounding. He knows, no matter what your age, good deeds make a difference.

 

“I went Bald for Bucks for the last 5 years because the first year, an 8th grader at my school had cancer, and I decided to go Bald for Bucks for him. Then, after realizing how many people in our family had cancer, I just thought I would keep on going.”

The first time he went Bald for Bucks at his school, he was the only one. To celebrate his leadership, the whole school assembled to witness his first shave done by his 8th grade friend who inspired him to begin with.

Michael’s act of courage continues to bring hope to all those around him. Last year, one of his mother’s friends was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and she was moved by Michael’s sign of solidarity.  Before she went in for her scheduled PET scan at Roswell Park, she stopped by Michael’s Bald for Bucks assembly to show her support. She even shaved some of his hair!   Later that evening, following her PET scan, she was told she was negative for cancer. This experience is something Michael holds dear to his heart. It confirms his mission, that every shave brings hope, and one day “we can find a cure.”

Michael said he also realized that it’s not just him bringing about change, but the help of his community who continues to support him on his mission to help end cancer.

“Going Bald for Bucks means to raise money for people who really need it.  It’s a great way to raise awareness.

“If a lot of people can pitch in, who knows, maybe we can reach a cancer cure faster. And if anything, hair grows back too,” he said with a smile.

Do you feel the call to go Bald for Bucks?

 

Markell goes Bald for Bucks and inspires his community

Markell is a 7th grader at Tonawanda Middle School and any chance he gets to help make his community a better place, he takes it. Last year, Markell’s school offered him a chance to do something awesome – go Bald for Bucks and raise funds for cancer patients – and he jumped at the opportunity.

“When I found out that we were [going] Bald for Bucks last year, I wanted to try something new, but I didn’t know it was going to be that big!” Markell said.

Markell’s head shaving event turned into something bigger than he could have ever imagined! On his big shave date, because the event had to be socially distanced, Markell’s teachers surprised him with a car parade to drive by and cheer him on!

“I was really excited because some of my older teachers came, and a bunch of my family and friends came.”

Markell was one of his team’s top fundraisers and raised $1,000 for cancer research and patient care programs at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. He says he would do it again.

“I think I am going to do it a lot more now that I know how much it could really help people out, so I am definitely going to do it another year, and maybe I will see if my friends will do it.”

Markell’s spirit of giving and desire for change not only impacts him, but he hopes will inspire those who know him to participate, too.

We couldn’t agree more, Markell! If you are looking for a way to do something good this holiday season, go Bald for Bucks.

Register Here

Lina Makes a Difference One Ponytail at a Time!

Lina is a kindhearted and creative sixth grade student from North Collins Elementary School. After Lina lost her uncle to brain cancer last year, she took things into her own hands and decided to participate in the annual Bald for Bucks event that her school hosts every year. Goin’ Bald for Bucks is not new to Lina’s family. Her older brother Zander participated twice with Team North Collins, and so deep down Lina always knew it was something that she wanted to do.

Lina remembers wanting someone to help her uncle during his cancer treatments. When Team North Collins announced they’d be hosting a Bald for Bucks event again in 2020, Lina decided to donate over 8 inches of her hair to the wig-making organization, Children With Hair Loss.

Lina was determined to join Bald for Bucks with a personal mission to fight cancer so that future families won’t have to go through what her and her family experienced when her uncle passed away. A caring soul, Lina is always looking for ways to help others.

Lina was ready to cut her ponytail in front of her classmates, teachers and family members at the annual Team North Collins in-person event. But COVID-19 had other plans. That didn’t stop Lina though! She snipped and clipped her way to cancer cures and went Bald for Bucks at home.

“We are very proud of her for making the decision to [donate her ponytail] and we love to support her for all of these things that she does,” said Lina’s very proud mom, Kristina.

Lina not only raised nearly $1,500 for Bald for Bucks, but was the Team North Collins top fundraiser! And her advice to anyone who is thinking about shaving their head or donating their ponytail in support of Bald for Bucks, Lina says do it!

“If it means [something] to you, then you should do it,” exclaimed Lina.


 

Fearless in the Face of a Pandemic: Imogene Still Does Her Part to Help End Cancer

Imogene is ready to take on the world. Not only does she take dance classes seven times a week and loves to climb trees and color in her spare time, but she also loves making a difference.  When she was in 7th grade, she decided to shave her head and go #BaldforBucks.

Imogene said she got her inspired to go Bald by her health teacher and a fellow classmate, who did it the year before. Imogene’s mother, Monica, worked at Roswell for 5 years as an Artist in Residence and was thrilled to know her daughter was interested in contributing to the patients being treated there by donating her hair to raise money for cancer research.

Her plan was to go Bald with her school in March of 2020. But when the pandemic hit, the Bald event was canceled. However, being the resilient person she is, Imogene did not let COVID-19 stop her. So she grabbed her clippers and shaved for her head at home!

When asked why she went bald for bucks, Imogene said she wanted to give a patient what they couldn’t give themselves at an already difficult time in their life. She knew she could do her part to help raise funds for virtual treatment at Roswell Park.

Bald for Bucks was the first experience Imogene had with supporting Roswell Park.  She made an impact many people’s lives, which she said is the greatest reward. Not only did Imogene donate her hair, but she also raised $1,566.50 towards the critical cancer research being done at Roswell. Thank you Imogene for your bravery and resilience!

Are you interested in going Bald for Bucks? Be like Imogene!

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