With every shave, a good cause [Editorial]

As divided as our country can seem during these tumultuous times, there are still so many wonderful stories of people doing great things for others and for their communities.

Nothing illustrates that better than the St. Baldrick’s events in Harford County.

Last weekend, more than $80,000 to fight childhood cancer was raised during what has become the annual St. Baldrick’s fundraiser at Bill Bateman’s on Route 40 in Havre de Grace.

Three weeks to the day before that, another $24,000 was raised in a St. Baldrick’s event at Looney’s Pub in Bel Air.

The Bel Air event was started in 2012, according to its web page, to honor Andrew “Drew” Eilbacher, who that page calls a great young man, firefighter, son and friend.

“Drew always loved a great party and we could think of no better way to honor him than to throw a big party every year that raises money to FIGHT KIDS’ CANCER,” the page reads.

Those big parties in Bel Air have raised more than $224,000.

Elaine Brown, a Havre de Grace resident who has volunteered at the event at Bill Bateman’s for the past four years, said children “need to be able to live life and see the things that adults have seen, go to a ball game instead of going to the hospital.”

Those sentiments were repeated again and again by participants who believe getting their heads shaved is nothing compared to the money being raised or what those who have their childhood disrupted by cancer endure.

Justin Fleming, 39, of Conowingo, is hooked on the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser after his best friend’s eldest daughter was afflicted.

“I just want to raise money for childhood cancer research because she’s a survivor of childhood cancer,” Fleming said at Saturday’s event at Bateman’s.

“This is something I will do for the rest of my life – this is such a great cause and a great feeling, you can’t beat it,” Fleming said.

We agree and encourage others to join Fleming and all the other caring people in Bel Air, Havre de Grace and in between to help the campaign raise more money.

“Everyone comes together to raise money for childhood cancer,” Heather Ely, a 25-year-old Aberdeen resident, said at the Havre de Grace event. “It’s something that no family should go through, but to have your child diagnosed with it is heart breaking.”

As more people join Ely, Fleming and the others who have turned head shaving into a monster fundraiser, the faster medical science will be able to uncover cancer’s deadly mystery.

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