EAST SYRACUSE — Bishop Grimes Jr./Sr. High School Acting Principal Pat Kinne braved the shave April 11.
His new buzz cut is for a good cause: the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which funds grants for research on childhood cancer.
Head-shaving events are one of the organization’s signature fundraising mechanisms. (A local example: Syracuse’s Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub & Restaurant hosts a head-shaving “St. Baldrick’s Day” event every year — this year’s was another record-breaker, raising more than $490,000!)
Kinne issued a challenge to students last Thursday: Raise $750 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and you can shave my head.
Students rose to the challenge, contributing $1,170.20, so Kinne made good on his offer. See the results, and a Q&A with Kinne, below.
Sun: Is this the first time you’ve participated in St. Baldrick’s Day or have you done it before?
Kinne: This was the first time that I’ve participated in St. Baldrick’s.
S: What moved you to participate this year?
K: A couple of our families at Bishop Grimes had approached me to ask if we could have a dress down day to benefit St. Baldrick’s. The families had members who were participating with other teams, and we’ve done a dress down day in the past. As I thought about it, I wondered what we could do that would allow us to raise more than a couple hundred dollars on a dress down day. I was actually brainstorming during my morning shower while I was washing my hair and wondered how much the students of Bishop Grimes would pay to see me without any hair. I talked it over with my wife, and she fully supported the idea. I think I was also moved to participate this year due to the fact that there was a 14-year old girl in my wife’s hometown in Illinois who had been battling cancer for the better part of her young life. Sadly, this young angel lost her battle just a few weeks ago. It is reminded my wife and I of how precious and fragile life can be. It’s an honor to be able to do this in her memory as well and to try to help raise money to help find a cure.
S: What was your challenge?
K: I issued the challenge to the Bishop Grimes community on Thursday afternoon at dismissal. My challenge was that if we could raise $750 for St. Baldrick’s that I would let students shave my head on Monday during lunches. The fact that we raised a total of $1170.20 blew me away and made me so proud of our kids and families here at Bishop Grimes!
S: Who were the students who did the actual shaving, and why were they the lucky chosen ones?
K: I opened up the shave to any students that wanted to take part in it. I do not know of too many students who can say that they were given permission to take a hair clipper to their principal’s head, but it really is all about showing students how fun and meaningful it can be when we put someone else’s needs before our own. There were some of my colleagues who thought I was brave (or crazy) for letting the students get near me with the clippers but honestly the kids were great. It never hurt and the majority of them asked if I was okay as they were doing it. In total, there were probably 30-35 students that participated in the shaving. Special thanks and kudos go out to Charles B., one of our seniors, who has been studying at his uncle’s barbershop. Charles came up at the end and cleaned up the shave so that I did not have to take a trip to the barbershop afterwards. He did a great job!
S: So how does it feel to have no hair?
K: It’s actually not bad. I’m thankful that we’re headed into a warm weather pattern though, as it is cold in the wind! I’m thankful to have been able to do this for St. Baldrick’s and the wonderful research that they do. My son, Alec, 8, said he thinks it’s fun that his dad’s head feels like sandpaper! It’s a small price to pay to help build community and help a wonderful cause. I have already had a few kids ask if we will do it again next year and to see if we will break this year’s amount. I am in if they are!