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How Solvay Middle School helped Brave the Shave

“Go bald or go home” was the motto for the second annual St. Baldrick’s event held at Solvay High School on March 17, 2017. And go bald they did, as 41 shavees braved the shave at the event, taking the stage in the Solvay High School auditorium to have their heads shaved in front of the crowd. This year, 29 of those shavees were Solvay Middle School (SMS) students.

The idea for having SMS students participate in braving the shave came from SMS teacher Mr. Collin Thompson. Mr. Thompson’s father has participated in the event for the last ten years, so when Patricia Campbell-Kochanek and Katie St. Denis brought the event to Solvay last year, Mr. Thompson was on board. He recruited three SMS students – two girls and a boy – to brave the shave with him, helping Solvay raise over $22,000 in its first year of the event.

This year, Mr. Thompson decided to start a SMS team to try and help generate more interest in the event throughout the school. He showed all of his classes a slide show to explain what St. Baldrick’s is and what the money raised at all of the events is put toward. This helped increase interest in the event and students soon began to sign up and fundraise.

“Even though I encouraged them and talked about it almost every day, they are the ones that really took the initiative,” said Mr. Thompson. “Most of the fundraising came from them!”

The SMS students involvement in the event was impressive, with students trying to talk their friends into it, and often checking in on who had signed up and how much funds had been raised. The interest grew so much that Mr. Thompson began to keep track of the total funds raised, as well as how many students had signed up to brave the shave.

“I was able to update the totals on my whiteboard in the classroom every morning,” said Mr. Thompson. “All of the students really got into it and enjoyed watching the progress.”

SMS alone raised over $8,500 for the event, with 29 students from sixth to eighth grade braving the shave. From fundraising to participation, the involvement from SMS helped Solvay not only meet, but exceed their goal for the 2017 St. Baldrick’s event, which raised an outstanding $24,697.42. 

“I've already had several students tell me they want to shave their heads next year,” said Mr. Thompson. “I am beyond proud of them.”




Solvay Union Free School District
Jay Tinklepaugh, Superintendent
PO Box 980
299 Bury Drive
Syracuse, New York 13209
Phone: (315) 468-1111

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