In 2000, reinsurance executives John Bender, Tim Kenny and Enda McDonnell turned their industry’s St. Patrick’s Day party into a head-shaving event to benefit kids with cancer. The first 19 “shavee” recruits planned to raise $17,000; instead, they raised more than $104,000, and the St. Baldrick’s movement was born. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation was officially established in 2004 and today provides more pediatric cancer research grants than any organization besides the U.S. government.
Over the past 12 years, almost 241,000 volunteers — including more than 24,000 women — have shaved their heads in solidarity with children with cancer at the foundation’s signature head-shaving events across the United States and around the world. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation has granted more than $78 million to support the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. The foundation’s annual childhood cancer research funding opportunities are diverse and include clinical research, supportive care research, consortium efforts, summer fellows, scholar awards, and infrastructure and research grants.