St. Baldrick's in New-Hope Solebury
About St. Baldricks in New Hope-Solebury
When New Hope-Solebury lost two of its own to cancer, students Ethan Toohey and Robert Nagg, the community was looking to grieve, and also, to inspire hope. “We wanted to give our kids a platform…to show them you can come together and be part of the solution,” says Laurie Palau, who has directed the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser for the past seven years. This year, there is reason to celebrate as the fundraiser surpassed a cumulative $1M raised for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The funds provide resources for pioneers in pediatric oncology research and position them to discover groundbreaking treatments. Susan Heard, Senior Director of Distinguished Giving at St. Baldrick’s, calls New Hope-Solebury’s contributions “staggering” and “an enormous accomplishment—one that there are not enough thanks for.”
Guided by Mrs. Palau and her dedicated volunteers, St. Baldrick’s has expanded over the years to give everyone in the New Hope-Solebury community an important role to play. The littlest lions at the Lower Elementary School have shaved their heads and hosted fundraising walks, Upper Elementary students have hosted all-day basketball tournaments, and National Honors Society students joined in the events providing face-painting and arts and crafts. “Part of the reason St. Baldrick’s has been so welcomed in our schools is because it ties in so well with the qualities the District is trying to instill in the students: acceptance, respect, solidarity, and empathy. It’s a great connection to what they learn on a daily basis at NHSSD,” shares Liz Sheehan, whose daughter Clare recently shaved her head for St. Baldrick’s and who serves as president of the New Hope-Solebury School District’s Board of School Directors. For their part, community businesses provide corporate sponsorships, raffle baskets, silent auction items, and have donated to join a special vendor fair where they can sell their locally made goods.
St. Baldrick’s is truly is an all-hands-on-deck model, and it is because of the community spirit behind it that the event achieved its remarkable $1 Million-raised cumulative milestone in 2021. Despite a challenging year where COVID-19 dampened the annual St. Baldrick’s events, New Hope-Solebury still had numerous children and adults ready and willing to shave their heads, cut 8” off their hair to donate to The BeYOUtiful Foundation, and to champion the St. Baldrick’s effort. For fourth grader Clare Sheehan, who has donated eight inches of her hair in the past and shaved her head just last month, “it is important to stand in solidarity with kids who have lost their hair because of chemotherapy and to share what you have with kids who may not have it.”
The St. Baldrick's Committee is actively seeking 6 people to fill open committee spots. If you are interested to learn more about any of the open positions please contact Laurie Palau here.