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In Western New York, One Teacher's 'Revolution Of Razors' Raises $5 Million For Cancer Research

Published Thursday, April 12, 2018
by Liza Frenette/NYSUT News
In Western New York, One Teacher's 'Revolution Of Razors' Raises $5 Million For Cancer Research

(ANGOLA, NEW YORK) - Here’s what a shiny dome or two can do: By shaving his head and getting scores of others to shave theirs, Lake Shore Teacher Tony George started a revolution of razors that’s raised $5 million for Buffalo’s Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

George - a Social Studies Teacher and President of the Lake Shore Teachers Association (LSTA) - is founder of Bald for Bucks, an organization powered primarily by Teachers and students to raise money for cancer research.

Whether it’s facial hair, long or tousled locks, moussed manes or curls - it all goes to the floor.

Snip, snip bzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Strands of hair float in the air then settle on the BOCES Cosmetology Salon floor.

Or the gymnasium floor.

Or school auditorium floor.

It’s created such a buzz, in fact, that now there are 50 locations where people are taking part in Bald for Bucks - many of them schools.

In all, $850,000 was raised last year and 2018 should be as strong.

Recently at Lake Shore, the bald and the brave raised $27,000 during an event in which Erie II BOCES Cosmetology Students did the shaving, earning service credit.

“I want to make it a community event and bring people together who may not necessarily interact,” said George, who set up a bounce house and provided dinner - both of which were donated. “The only place all aspect of community come together is at school.”

While many students get shaved bald, others have their long locks cut off and donated to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths, which uses the hair to make wigs.

George’s motivation for building Bald for Bucks was his sister’s cancer.

In 2002, his solitary sibling Cathy found out her breast cancer had spread to her brain and she needed brain surgery.

George was flummoxed about what he could do to help.

Offering support in words only was kind of like making pretty mud cakes on shore while the tide was roaring in.

He wanted action and he told his students he’d be shaving his head in solidarity with his sister.

“I told my students, ‘The next time you see me I’ll be bald and here’s why,’” he said. “It just killed me when we went out in public and people stared at her.”

Several students volunteered to shave their heads, too.

Someone else suggested that if they were going to go bald, why not make it an event and raise money for cancer research?

That first year, 36 Teachers and students shaved their heads and raised $3,600.

Just as importantly, George said they shared stories about their family members dealing with cancer.

One of those Teachers who shaved their head that first year was Michael Desing, who years later would undergo treatment at Roswell after being diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer (Read This ‘Powerful Story Of Why Sticking With Your Union Is So Important’ – Western New York Teacher Michael Desing ‘Not Only Beat Cancer, He Has A Million Reasons’ For 'Sticking With The Union').

To Continue Reading This Labor News Report, Go To: www.nysut.org/resources/special-resources-sites/its-what-we-do/profiles/in-western-new-york-one-teachers-revolution-of-razors-raises-5-million-for-cancer-research

 

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