Students shave heads, raise cancer awareness

Stevens Hall resident assistant Michael Mancill shaved his head during the cancer fighting fundraiser, Be Bold, Be Bald 2011. Oct. 20, 2011. Fred Monrean Jr/Sun Star

Sarah Bressler / Sun Star Reporter
Oct. 25, 2011

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2011 alone more than 1.5 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer. This deadly disease will take the lives of an estimated 571,950 citizens, which is more than 1,500 people everyday. In an effort to put an end to cancer, hundreds of billions of dollars are spent every year on research, support for cancer survivors and treatment for those currently fighting for their lives.

Much of the money comes from non-profit charities. Hundreds of cancer charities exist. Together, these organizations donate money to virtually all angles of cancer research and treatment. Be Bold, Be Bald!, a nationwide cancer awareness/fundraiser event which took place on Oct. 21, was no exception, as the UAF community alone has raised more than $800 so far.

Be Bold, Be Bald! was founded by Small Army, an advertising, marketing and creative services agency  in Boston. Small Army created the aid organization in 2007, after the co-founder of Small Army lost his battle with cancer. Be Bold, Be Bald! is a unique charity, as it does not simply ask for donations.  Instead, participants must wear a “bald” cap on Oct. 21, according to their website and find people to sponsor them for doing so. The caps can be ordered from beboldbebald.org.

Scott Hall, assistant resident director of Stevens Hall, and Tristian Monterastelli, assistant resident director of Nerland Hall, decided to introduce Be Bold, Be Bald! to the UAF community this year. It was the first organized Be Bold, Be Bald! event not only on the UAF campus, but in Alaska.

“It is one of the most extraordinary fundraisers,” said Monterastelli, who has individually participated in the event for the past two years.

Stevens Hall staff took the community service project one step further and announced that they would actually shave their heads if the goal of $500 was met. The shaving event took place outside of Stevens Hall on Oct. 20, at 6p.m., where four staff members including one woman, Jasmyne Johnson, had their heads shaved as they joked and laughed with each other.

All four staff members were very passionate for the cause.

“All four of my aunts have had cancer, and I wanted to help nip this thing in the butt!” Johnson said, when asked why she shaved her head. Johnson was amazed by the success of the first-year event. “Our goal was $500 and we raised over $800,” she said. “I am very impressed with how just a few people can make such a difference.”

After her head was shaved, Johnson smiled and exclaimed, “It feels amazing!”

On Oct. 21, the  day of the Be Bold, Be Bald! event, eight students wore bald caps for the cause.

Next year, Monterastelli and Hall hope to have an even bigger turnout. They were happy with the numbers, as it was the first time holding this charity event at UAF.

Monterselli will accept donations for the cause until Nov. 10, when he will put all the money together and send it in. If anyone is still interested in donating to the Be Bold, Be Bald! foundation, they can e-mail Monterselli at tmmonterastelli@alaska.edu, or go online to beboldbebald.org and click donate.

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