Photo by Elyana Schosek
Participants in Springville-Griffith Institute’s annual Bald for Bucks event last raised over $13,000 to help with the cause of finding a cure for cancer.

By Elyana Schosek

Student Reporter

Goin’ Bald for Bucks Buffalo is a program in Western New York in which people can shave their heads, donate their hair or grow out their beards in order to raise money to support cancer research and patient-care programs at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Springville-Griffith Institute recently held their third annual Bald for Bucks event. Chris Scarpine, Springville Elementary School principal, was in charge of planning the event for the district. He signed the team up in November and fundraising began after the new year.

“Cancer is a disease that touches everyone, and we want to make a difference.” This a statement that could be found on the team page. Scarpine set up the team page to allow members of the community to join the team and help to raise money.

It also stated, “You can help us make a difference by supporting our team’s efforts in Goin’ Bald for Bucks.”

This year’s event took place on Thursday, April 18 in the Springville Elementary gym. Scarpine noted that the event went great overall and was really well-attended.

“No donation is too small, and every dollar adds up to something greater than any one of us could accomplish alone,” Scarpine said. “Together, we can help find cancer cures and save lives.”

As of Thursday afternoon, they had raised $13,140, which “is incredible by any standard.”

Prior to the event itself, Scrapine said, “We will be snipping, clipping or shaving our hair to raise critically needed funds for cutting-edge cancer research and compassionate, innovative patient-care programs at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.”

When asked why the school does Bald for Bucks, Scarpine said it was a learning experience for the kids and it helps in the fight against cancer.

The top fundraiser was Isabella Giordano, who raised over $2,000, followed by Matthew French, Brody Landsman and Kurtis Shufelt, who all raised over $1,000.

DJ Anthony from Kiss 98.5 attended the event to support the kids.

“So many families in our area have been affected by cancer that this has a personal connection to a lot of our kids,” Scarpine said. It is also important to note that the money stays local.

In 1998, Cathleen George was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30. George underwent many surgeries and a lot of chemo and radiation throughout her battle with cancer. Her brother, Tony, told her that he would shave his head and not let his hair grow back until hers did.

Tony was a teacher at Lake Shore High School. He began talking to his students about his mission and many offered their support. One student suggested the idea of raising money before shaving their heads and thus Goin’ Bald for Bucks was born.

On March 13, 2004, Cathleen George lost her battle with cancer. Her spirit now lives on through Goin’ Bald for Bucks.

The foundation has raised over $5.5 million since its start. SGI continues to help in the journey of finding a cure for cancer and providing compassionate care for those who are faced with battling cancer.