St. Baldrick's Foundation
||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (November 2010)|
|Key people||Kathleen Ruddy, Executive Director|
|Area served||United States and 28 other countries.|
St. Baldrick's Foundation is a childhood cancer charity funding research to help find cures for children with cancer. The name of the foundation is not associated with a recognized Saint of the Catholic Church, but is founded on word play and appropriation of the title of sainthood.
The Foundation raises money for childhood cancer research primarily through head-shaving events. Volunteers, sponsored by family, friends and employers, shave their heads in solidarity with children who typically lose their hair during cancer treatment. Events have taken place in all 50 US states and 28 countries. Since 2000, St. Baldrick's Foundation volunteers have organized nearly 4,200 head-shaving events and shaved over 190,500 heads, raising over $118 million for life-saving childhood cancer research.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation became a non-profit organization in 2005 and makes grants to research organizations that meet stringent criteria and share the Foundation’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and emphasis on research. St. Baldrick’s research grants help fill crucial funding gaps at medical institutions where children are treated for cancer, ensuring the finest care for every child. Since 2005, St. Baldrick's has awarded over 100 Fellow and Scholar awards, to develop the childhood cancer research experts of tomorrow. St Albert the Great School in Louisville, Kentucky was the first school in the world to ever host an event, but they have since inspired schools worldwide to host further events.
The concept of St. Baldrick's was devised in 1999 by three Irish-American reinsurance executives from New York City, and grew from a single event to a nationwide effort in a relatively short period of time; it is now claimed to be the world's first and largest volunteer fundraiser for childhood cancer research. The founders decided to turn their St. Patrick's Day party into a benefit for pediatric oncology research by shaving their heads, thereby showing solidarity with children undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Therefore, the name of the Foundation is a play on the words Bald and Patrick - going bald on St. Patrick’s Day, led to St. Baldrick’s.