Bay High students raise $20,000 for cancer research

Jim Sgro of the Village Barber shop grabs hold of art instructor Thomas Schemrich’s ponytail as he shaves it off. Photo by Karen Derby

Bay High students have raised $20,000, doubling their ambitious one-week goal of $10,000, to help fund promising cures for childhood cancer through St. Baldrick's Foundation.

Contributions were collected in just one week (which included a snow day with no school) through cash, checks and online donations, and a top motivator was the promise of art instructor Thomas Schemrich to shave off his longtime ponytail hairstyle, which he says he has worn almost always since he was 15 years old.

Bay High's Youth Philanthropy Fellowship (YPF), along with Bay High's Student Council and Key Club, sponsored the fundraiser. The following students participated in the event by also having their heads shaved: Nick Best, Michael Clark, Tim Garner, Molly Harkness, Jared Hengst, Elyse Legeay, Andrew Majercek, Jack Rodman and Andrew Taylor. Staff members being head-shaved included teachers Joe Cheney, Billy Judge, Jared Shetzer, Scott Stelter and the school's principal and YPF adviser, Jason Martin.

The Village Barbershop in Bay Village supplied two barbers to do the work, and hairstylist Regina Warblock and an assistant cut the girls' hair, which will be donated to Locks of Love for cancer patients.

"Virtually all the fundraising was done by the students," said Principal Martin. "We had a couple side raffles for staff and parents which contributed some funds, but the overwhelming majority of the money comes directly from donations." He says he believes this was the most funds raised in one week in the history of the school.

The head shaving took place in the Bay High West Gymnasium Friday afternoon, March 14, after the assembled students honored two-time Bay High state swimming champion, Trevor Lake, and the rest of the Bay High swim team. Teams from all the winter sports were also introduced and cheered for their achievements.

"Never forget you can make a difference," Martin told the student body. "And never forget the power of an idea. This whole event started when Emmy Korte, a senior, stopped by and said she had an idea for a spirit week that she thought would be a good fundraiser. Then Will Huntington and Kyle McPhillips said, 'We think Bay High School should become involved with St. Baldrick's.'"

Martin pointed out that all the students who came forward to have their head shaved were demonstrating the courage to commit to something they are passionate about. "And Mr. Schemrich's challenge made us think bigger and stretch. If we hadn't done this, we would have fallen short of our full potential and the great difference we really could make."

He wrapped up Bay High's Spirit Week by adding, "Never underestimate the power, strength and beauty of a community coming together for one cause. This year we have adopted the 'One Rocket Nation' motto. This motto represents our pride, spirit and unity. All of these came together this week, and the end result was amazing!"

Click to see more photos of the event.

Karen Derby

Director of Communications for the Bay Village City School District

Read More on Schools
Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 9:42 AM, 03.18.2014