Come Out to Support St. Baldrick’s Fundraiser on March 8
A hairy situation is about to take place in Floral Park as hundreds of residents get ready to go bald for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s annual fundraiser, on Tuesday, March 8 at 5 p.m., at Trinity Bar & Restaurant, 190 Jericho Turnpike, in Floral Park.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. At a St. Baldrick’s event, young and old, male and female, sit side by side and face the clippers as part of the worldwide effort of shaving the way to conquer kids’ cancer.
Each year, approximately 160,000 children are diagnosed with cancer worldwide. Cancer is the number one disease killer of children in the United States and Canada, according to St. Baldrick’s website.
For the past three years, Floral Park resident and four-time shavee Bob GaNun has been running the annual fundraiser, which has become an exciting and unifying event for the entire community. As a father of young children, GaNun is passionate about helping to raise funds for pediatric cancer. “Little pebbles build big walls,” said GaNun. “The neighborhood has been tremendous with their outpouring.”
GaNun, who was recruited to be in charge of the fundraiser by Rev. John O’Farrell, pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Floral Park, is hopeful that this year’s fundraising totals will exceed previous years. Last year, 104 shavees participated in the event and raised a total $126,000.
This year’s event will be in honor of Aiden Binkley, formerly of Floral Park, who passed away at age 11 last December due to Rhabdomysosarcoma. Lisa Binkley, Aiden’s mother, explained the importance of fundraising events such as St. Baldrick’s Day to help raise much-needed monies that go toward research for pediatric cancer.
“Of the total cancer research budget the government allots, this past year, they only gave all the childhood cancers (not just one) $1 million to pediatric cancers. Just one kid’s treatment is way over $1 million. A lot of the research that’s being done is privately funded through other (non-government) agencies and fundraising events. After the government, St. Baldrick’s gives the most, and all of the money goes to children’s cancer,” she explained.
Binkley also expressed her gratitude to the residents of Floral Park and Bellerose Village for their support. Many of Aiden’s friends came out to shave their heads last year and will be coming back this year in his honor.
“The support that we’ve gotten from the community is unbelievable,” Binkley explained. “When Aiden was first diagnosed, I didn’t cook for a year. It was all people who knew me, who didn’t know me, who knew of me, friends of friends, everybody just wanted to help,” she added.
To be a shavee or to donate, call Bob GaNun at 917-921-3639; visit www.stbaldricks.org; or call 888-899-BALD. Walk-ins are welcome on the day of the event.