ALTON - It was a hairy Friday at Marquette Catholic High School as students, faculty and staff shaved their heads for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

On Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, the MCHS student body gathered in the gym to watch as students and staff had their heads shaved by Anderson’s Classic Barber Shop. Participants raised money for St. Baldrick’s, an organization that funds childhood cancer research. They then shaved their heads in support of childhood cancer survivors.

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“The trophy or whatever you call it isn’t important. The important thing is to help the kids. That’s the important thing,” said MCHS teacher Suzanne Phelps. “It’s worth it. Hair grows back. It’s insignificant.”

Phelps was applauded for raising the most money, bringing in a little over $2,600. Other participants raised anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars. Everyone had different reasons for participating, but their goal — to help find a cure for childhood cancer — was the same.

Steve Walch, a student at MCHS, shared that one of his best friends underwent cancer treatment as a baby. Walch decided to participate in St. Baldrick’s to show his support and give back to the charity that helps kids like his friend.

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“Ever since I found out about that, I just wanted to do something because if he didn’t get the right treatment, I wouldn’t have one of my best friends,” Walch said. “So I’m really thankful for that and I hope other people can get the same treatment that he did and eventually get better like he did.”

MCHS teacher Jon Jones shaved his head in honor of an MCHS alumna who passed away from cancer last year. Others, like alum Joe Boevingloh, have made it a tradition to participate in St. Baldrick’s every year.

“Back in my freshman year here at Marquette back in 2013, it was the second year of this event and a bunch of the guys in our class were talking about how cool it’d be to do this and just how easy it would be to make a difference,” Boevingloh remembered. “All I have to do is shave my head. That’s such a small thing…It’s just a really cool event and a unique way to make a difference.”

For more information about St. Baldrick’s, including how to donate or get involved, visit their official website at StBaldricks.org.

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