Millennium Elementary School in Tinley Park recently hosted its annual St. Baldrick’s Day Head Shaving Event, which is held with the goal of raising funds to help battle childhood cancer.
The event went off without a hitch! Students in kindergarten through fifth grade had volunteers who decided to participate in the head shaving out of solidarity for their fellow students battling childhood cancer. The event also had a few teachers and past students who wanted to participate by having their heads shaved, as well.
The fundraising goal for the event was $10,000. With the help of students, teachers, family, friends and the community of Tinley Park, they exceeded their goal and have collected more than $25,000 both online and in person. All of the money raised will go toward this incredible volunteer-powered charity that funds more childhood cancer research grants than any other organization except the U.S. government.
The St. Baldrick’s Day event has been held at Millennium School for the last seven years and has raised more than $125,000 in that time. This year the school had more than 50 students and adults who shaved their heads in front of the entire school and some of the students' parents.
This year’s St. Baldrick’s Day event was inspired by Timmy O’Connell, a local 7-year-old who has been battling brain cancer since being diagnosed in the summer of 2017. Timmy is a student at Millennium School and is also a big fan of superheroes. This year’s theme just so happens to be superheroes, and every classroom has a cape outside of it. Students are also each getting a mini cape with their name on it to show their support for Timmy.
The highlight of this year’s event was at the end, when Timmy got up with a pair of clippers and proceeded to shave my head. I had the pleasure of meeting Timmy this past Christmas at our annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony. Timmy was the guest of honor, where he pressed the button to light the tree and kick off the holiday season. I was amazed at how Timmy was able to light up not only the tree but everyone in attendance on that cold winter night. When I heard about this event and how it was to be held for Timmy I said, I would be honored to participate.
Visit the fundraising page to donate to the Millennium School St. Baldrick's drive. A benefit is planned for the O'Connell family on June 22 at 115 Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park. For information, please visit www.timmytough.com.
Jacob C. Vandenberg
Mayor, Village of Tinley Park