Members of the varsity baseball team shaved their heads Feb. 15 to kick off its second annual fundraising campaign against pediatric cancer.
Last year, Austin Schoff ’13 came up with the idea for the first campaign, which was specifically meant to honor player Chris “Beebop” Robinson ’13, who died of leukemia in November 2011. Schoff was good friends with Robinson and wanted to do something special for him.
“As a team, we all agreed that raising money would be a great thing for the cause that was so close to our program’s heart,” varsity baseball player Tyler Urbach ’14 said.
The first campaign ended with the head shaving, and after the team passed its goal of $5000 to reach more than $11,000 donated. Wristbands that read “strikeout leukemia” and that honored Robinson on the inside were sold on the quad last year as well. This year, on Robinson’s birthday, students posted “#strikeoutleukemia” on Facebook in an effort to spread leukemia awareness.
“This year, of course, we will be thinking of Beebop, but we are attacking cancer as a whole,” Urbach said. “We feel that it makes more sense to raise the money for the greater good since not too many of us knew [him], but like I said, we will be raising the money in his name, and for his honor.”
This year, the head shaving kicked off the campaign, and the team’s goal is again $5000. The campaign will likely run through the beginning of April, but an ending date has not been decided. The team will not be selling wristbands again.
“I thought [the head shaving] was a good kickoff to the fundraiser and season,” player Cameron Deere ’16 said. “When the team comes together for the same cause, it can create a strong ripple effect. I hope that we create awareness throughout the community. #strikeoutleukemia.”
All proceeds will be split, with one half going to research funds against leukemia and other pediatric cancers, and the other half going to a local cancer treatment center, most likely UCLA, which was where Robinson stayed while battling leukemia. People can donate by joining the “HW vs Cancer” Facebook group or by going to http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraise/team?ftid=28470.
“The shaving of our heads was heavily debated, but when we, as a team last year, saw the impact it had on not only Chris Robinson’s family, but on the school as a whole, we realized how special the cause we were fighting for really was to people,” Urbach said.