If you hear a mild buzz coming from the downtown area Sunday afternoon, it’s most likely resonating from Louisville Slugger Field, as more than 220 people are volunteering to shave their heads completely — all for a good cause.
The annual St. Baldrick’s event, which raises money for childhood cancer research, has a new nickname — “TakeASwingAtCancer” — and will take place at Slugger Field Sunday starting at 12:45 p.m. According to lead event organizer Vicki L. Brandt, they’re hoping to raise more than $200,000 this year.
Along with information booths from dozens of event sponsors and organizations like Gilda’s Club and Camp Quality, the event also will feature a children’s Fun Zone, face painter, selfie station and many of the local mascots. Bubba’s 33, a sister restaurant of Texas Roadhouse, is a main sponsor as well, and representatives will be handing out coupons to the Clarksville eatery, which also will be hosting a benefit for children’s cancer research on Wednesday, March 29.
The silent auction is a big part of the event as well, and this year, you can expect to bid on numerous items, from a bourbon experience to Louisville Zoo tickets. New this time will be an opportunity to write notes to local children battling cancer.
This is Brandt’s first year as lead organizer, and she tells Insider she is driven to continue on the work of former organizer David Elster, who relocated to the West Coast last year. She believes St. Baldrick’s is important to Louisville, especially when you consider the statistics.
Every two minutes, a child is diagnosed with cancer, and one in five won’t survive. And while hundreds of millions of dollars go to fund adult cancer research, only a fraction of that goes to childhood cancer research.
“Quite frankly, it’s ridiculous that kids’ cancer research is so underfunded,” says Brandt. “Louisville is known to be a compassionate city, and I think we can make a difference as a significant contributor to this worthy cause.”
One of her favorite parts of the event is getting to know the children and families who bravely battle the disease and choose to shave their heads in the name of raising funds. One such child is Glen Bayne, who is one of the “honored” kids at the event.
Bayne was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) in 2014 when he was 2 years old. After a few surgeries and an intensive chemotherapy treatment, he now is declared “NED,” meaning he shows no evidence of the disease.
“He has grown back a gorgeous head of hair, and his dad tells me that Glen is talking about shaving it off for our event,” says Brandt.
St. Baldrick’s “TakeASwingAtCancer” takes place from 12:45-4 p.m. on Sunday, March 26, at Slugger Field. The event is free and open to the public.