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An evening of joy and humility…

Friday, March 18 was St. Baldrick’s Day, a celebration that is rapidly becoming my favorite holiday.  My wife and I made the trek to Indianapolis to participate in an “official” head shaving event to raise money for children’s cancer research.  This is the second year I’ve “braved the shave.”  Due to schedule conflicts last year, I headed to a local Sports Clips and went bald in relative privacy.  But this year I went the distance and joined forces with my friend and trade association colleague, Chuck Chamness, president and CEO of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) and the members of “Team Joey” to get sheared in front of the masses.

JA #1Chuck formed “Team Joey” several years ago when his son, Joey Chamness, contracted childhood cancer.  By God’s grace and a little help from St. Baldrick’s Foundation, Joey is now cancer free and a student at Indiana University – a walking miracle if there ever was one.  Chuck and his team have raised millions of dollars for the Foundation over the years and it was an honor to be included in the effort.

JA #2

U.S. Representative Susan Brooks who recently became a cosponsor of HCR 19

It was an evening of joy and humility.  Held at a local Knights of Columbus Council Lodge (how appropriate is that?) the shave-fest attracted several hundred St. Baldrick’s supporters, many of them families from local parishes.  There were also a few local celebrities in the mix, including U.S. Representative Susan Brooks and local sports talk radio personality Chris Esposito.


Radio personality Chris Esposito

Nearly 100 individuals – many of them school boys (and girls!) – had their heads shaved that night.  All of them had a story to tell – about a friend or relative who was battling childhood cancer or one who had survived.  The most touching story was from a father who lost a child to cancer and continued to support St. Baldrick’s in the hope that other parents wouldn’t have to experience the same loss.  Tears were shed because we all suddenly understood why we were there.JA3#

For all you “Doubting Thomas’s,” here’s the before-during-and-after proof that I actually did it.  Thanks to your help I’ve raised over $10,000 for the Foundation in two years.  My goal is to raise $100,000 in lifetime contributions and to be christened a “Knight of St. Baldrick’s.”  Here’s a shot of a Knights of Columbus member bestowing that honor on this year’s recipients.

JA#5Shaving your head is a very small and symbolic gesture that you stand with those children and their families who areJA#7 battling an illness that they don’t deserve and can’t understand.  It’s such a small action that makes such a huge impact.  An enormous THANK YOU to all those in the fraternal community that supported my fundraising effort.  I can’t wait to do it again next year.



Knights of Columbus member bestowing the a “Knight of St. Baldrick’s” honor on this year’s recipients.

2 Responses

  1. Joe – well done. Very good of you to help raise awareness of what all these great kids go thru to beat cancer. I guess by the time I see you in Toronto in May, your new “perm” won’t be as noticeable but I am sure it will be conversation starter, which is the point right? See you shortly. Steve F from Toronto.

  2. Thanks, Steve. I should have a little more coverage by then, but it will still be about a 14 on the Stimp meter!

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