As reported in the Athens Banner-Herald, last Sunday, April 30, Joe MacKenzie, a senior mass media arts major at UGA, organized a St. Baldrick’s Foundation head shaving event at The Rook & Pawn.
Seven volunteers had their heads shaved by stylists from Model Citizen Salon and donated proceeds to the charity, which funds childhood cancer research.
MacKenzie said he organized the event in honor of his late cousin, Pierce Broe, who died in Oct. 2014 after a 15-month battle with a brain tumor at just 12 years old.
St. Baldrick’s was the main charity that helped Broe throughout his battle with cancer.
“I organized this event because this is the charity that helped out my cousin, who unfortunately passed away from cancer a few years ago, and why we chose this one charity specifically is because they fund to childhood charity research,” MacKenzie told the paper.
MacKenzie also said that he believes that we should bring more awareness about childhood cancer and address the need to research genetic cancers.
“Childhood cancer is not very well addressed to the general or pharmaceutical population which means they need more money for specific research,” MacKenzie said. “Children suffer from specific genetic cancers. For example, the [type of cancer] my cousin had, a brain tumor, was not very well researched.”
Tom MacKenzie, father of Joe MacKenzie, was one of the seven who volunteered to have his head shaved. He said he participated in memory of “his little fishing buddy, Pierce.”
“I had taught him to catch his very first fish. We always try to help out kids with cancer because it just doesn’t seem fair,” MacKenzie said. “We also are happy to support our son, [Joe], who really was Pierce’s good buddy.”
MacKenzie said the benefit of the event is to educate the youth in the community.
“I think it’s a great educational opportunity for a lot of the youth just like my son and daughter. Unless you have a personal acquaintance with cancer, you don’t know about this sort of stuff,” MacKenzie said. “I think it’s a great way to reach out to people and say ‘hey’ and give people a sense of giving early on.”
During the event, 10 percent of all purchases made at The Rook & Pawn contributed to the Mackenzie’s St. Baldrick’s team named ‘Pierce the Heart.’ Their goal was set at $2,000 and at the end of the event, the team had reached just over $2,500 from individual contributions and proceeds from purchases made at The Rook & Pawn.
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