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Valpo Men's Soccer Hosts Successful St. Baldrick's Fundraiser
Valparaiso University president Dr. Mark Heckler and his wife, Veronica, were among those who had their heads shaved Sunday. (Michael Raines)
Valparaiso University president Dr. Mark Heckler and his wife, Veronica, were among those who had their heads shaved Sunday. (Michael Raines)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Valparaiso men’s soccer team hosted its third annual head-shaving fundraiser for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation at the ARC on Sunday, benefiting funding to find cures for childhood cancers. 84 volunteers had their heads shaved as the donations totaled more than $21,000.

The event kicked off at noon on Sunday with Valparaiso University president Mark Heckler and his wife Veronica, Crusader men’s soccer coach Mike Avery and his son Alex, and Crusader goalkeeper Tom Serratore, who became a "Knight of the Bald Table" for shaving for seven straight years, stepping up to the chairs among the first group of shavees. Over the next few hours, members of the Valpo men’s soccer program, other Crusader athletes and campus and community members sat down and had their heads shaved to benefit the cause. Five women were among those who shaved their heads, including Veronica Heckler and Sam Simpson, a staff member at the Christopher Center. In addition, the event also boasted 70 volunteers, including 12 stylists and Miss Teen Indiana, Darrian Arch.

The Crusaders first raised money for St. Baldrick’s in 2011 after Serratore, who had participated in fundraisers for St. Baldrick’s in high school, brought the cause to the team’s attention. Valpo’s inaugural event raised better than $5,000 for the foundation, and the Crusaders soared past their goal last season, raising over $23,000. While this year’s total of better than $21,000 has already surpassed the goal set at $15,000, the Crusaders are still accepting donations – fans can contact assistant coach Jeff Oleck at 219-464-5059 or by e-mail at Jeff.Oleck@valpo.edu to learn how to donate.

The St. Baldrick's Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government. Since 2000, nearly 200,000 volunteers -- including more than 17,200 women -- have shaved in solidarity with children with cancer at events in dozens of countries and every U.S. state. Thanks to generous friends and family, these shavees have raised over $117 million for life-saving research.