Going Bald and Saving Lives at Olympic Heights and West Boca High

Brian Levine is a student at West Boca High.
Cross-town rivals West Boca High School and Olympic Heights High School are teaming up in order to fight against one common enemy, cancer. This year, these two high schools continue the eternal struggle against cancer by participating in St. Baldrick’s.
St. Baldrick’s is an organization that first started on March 17th, 2000. It began as a challenge Tim Kenny set forth to his colleagues John Bender and Enda McDonnell. One simple question – “How will you give back in return for your own good fortune in business?” – kicked off a massive, international program unlike anything seen before. Today, thousands of people world-wide volunteer, donate, and shave their heads in order to help put an end to children’s cancer. If you want to learn more about St. Baldrick’s, click here.
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Here in Boca Raton, high school students at Olympic Heights and West Boca are shaving their heads in order to support this cause. West Boca High has been participating since 2013 while Olympic Heights is going on their eleventh year of participation. Now, both schools together have earned well over half a million dollars. Students are working hard to raise money for the event by sending mail and emails and by taking advantage of social media.
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Olympic Height’s event will take place on February 26th at their gymnasium. In order to prepare for the event, students and teachers alike are selling custom dog tags ($5), wristbands ($5) and t-shirts ($10). They are being sold in room 8106 at Olympic Heights. Students here must raise a total of $100 dollars in order to get their head shaved. If you would like to help Olympic Heights, you can either write a check out to Olympic Heights, donate in cash to room 8106, or donate online to their website here. Donations can go to the entire school or to an individual student.
West Boca’s event is also taking place on February 26th at the gymnasium in their school. To participate as a ‘shavee’ in the event, students at West Boca High have to raise $50. At the school store and around campus, volunteers are selling St. Baldrick’s bracelets ($5) that must be bought in order to attend the event. To donate and help raise money for West Boca High, you can write a check out to West Boca High, donate cash to the school store, or donate online to their website here. Donations can go to the entire school or to an individual student.
A child is diagnosed with cancer every three minutes world-wide. Come support schools and students alike as they work together to help save lives and put an end to cancer this St. Baldrick’s. If you have the opportunity, go bald! After all, hair grows back!
Pictures provided by Joseph Marutollo and Elena McKnight.
Note: Another student wrote up last year’s St. Baldrick’s event at Olympic Heights.

Join West Boca News at the Relay for Life!

Dear Readers,
hopeAs a two time survivor of cancer, I decided to participate in Relay for Life this year. I have personally benefited from the research done by the American Cancer Society!
Help us raise money for research to help others fight this dreaded disease. My dream for my daughters is that they can live in a world without cancer. Please donate or join our team on Friday, June 6th at the St. Jude Catholic Church in Boca Raton.
Click the following link to join our team or donate:
West Boca News Relay for Life Team

The Opening Ceremony starts at 6 p.m. If you are a survivor, you can join me in the Survivors Lap and Dinner. There is a special lap for caregivers also. The Luminaria Ceremony is a time to remember people we have lost to cancer and support those who are currently battling the disease.
We are giving out West Boca News t-shirts to anyone raising $100 or more. Please join West Boca News in our fight against cancer!

Heather Redlich
Co-Founder of West Boca News

Olympic Heights Fights Cancer: Student Article

This article was submitted by Olympic Heights student Jeff Ruben. Thanks Jeff! We added some pictures.

Jeff Ruben (from Facebook)
Jeff Ruben (from Facebook)
Hey, Olympic Heights recently (last week) hosted St. Baldricks… raised over 30K! Here is an article I wrote, let me know if you’d like to post it…
Olympic Heights High School students are supporting childhood cancer research in a much more unique way than donating money – they are shaving their heads.
On Thursday, Olympic Heights hosted their tenth annual St Baldricks shave-a-thon event. To participate in the head-shaving extravaganza, students were asked to raise a minimum of 100 dollars for the St. Baldricks Foundation. Commendably, many students raised above and beyond, as the amount raised totaled over $33,000.
For those not familiar, the St. Baldrick’s foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long, healthy lives.
This year, Olympic Heights had over 200 student volunteers.
“This is an overall great thing,” said senior Ian Wagner. “Raising money to cure childhood cancer is an extremely important cause and seeing high school students raise this much money is an outstanding thing.”
In the past ten years, Olympic Heights have raised over $500,000 in total. What’s truly remarkable about that number is the fact that each event has been entirely student run under the guidance of few faculty.
Gianna Damian (Facebook)
Gianna Damian (Facebook)
“As a high school student, it’s such a great feeling to be able to make a difference like this. When you walk into the gymnasium and see a sea of green shirts, wigs, headbands and shoes, you get really excited for what was accomplished,” said junior Gianna Damian. “It’s important to spread the word.”
At the event, 60 students shaved their heads, including 12 female students.
Senior Elizabeth Siegal is a four year veteran of the head-shaving process. When asked why she shaves her head, Siegal responded “it’s really important for girls to shave their hair. It makes such an impact in these kids’ lives and it makes them feel like they don’t have to go through it alone. They have someone who knows what it feels like to not have any hair on their heads.”
Elizabeth Siegel (Facebook)
Elizabeth Siegel (Facebook)

“36 children are diagnosed with cancer every day. That is 36 families every day in turmoil and grief,” stated Lauren Benedeky, a stage IV neuroblastoma survivor and St. Baldrick’s national ambassador.
It is truly spectacular the amount of money that has been raised for this fantastic cause. This proves that at no matter what age, people can make a difference. As Elizabeth Siegal acutely expressed, “It’s only hair. It will grow back.”
See more at: Olympic Heights St. Baldrick.