The St. Baldrick’s Foundation sponsors head-shaving events that raise money to support childhood cancer research. Our Guardians of the Week are five individuals from Maritime Safety and Security Team 91105 in Alameda, Calif., who participated in a shaving event for the Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland Mar. 12 and won the award for most money raised by a military group.
Petty Officers 1st Class Anthony Ross, Michael Aguilera, Alan Plaster and Petty Officers 3rd Class Daniel Martin and James Gregg went on stage to have their heads shaved down to stubble in front of the massive crowd there to support the fight against children’s cancer.
“There were so many people there you could barely walk,” said Martin, a gunner’s mate, who organized their team. “We walked in and there were kids everywhere.”
One child was particularly excited to see the Coast Guard team and was able to present them with their Heroes to Heroes Award for largest amount raised by a military team. Nearly $150,000 was raised at the event, putting it in the most successful events of the year for St. Baldrick’s Martin said.
But raising money is only part of the reason for the events. Cancer is an ominous thing, more so for kids and their parents. Having fun, lifting spirits and the feeling of support from the community are what really makes theses events memorable.
“For our children to be able to spend time with heroes in the military and the police and firemen in the community is so special,” said Heidi Gatty, the event’s volunteer organizer. “It means so much to them when they see the people in their community supporting them.”
Team Coast Guard felt the same way.
The young boy who presented them their award had a strong impact on Ross. “You could tell he was really excited about giving us the award,” he said.
“Just being able to do something for these kids was great,” said Martin. “Seeing the community rally around them and see how much people care was cool. You could see how much it meant to them, but you know it meant a lot to us to.”
If you would like to participate in or sponsor a St. Baldrick’s event more information is available at www. stbaldricks.org.
Do you know someone in the Coast Guard that has done something great for the service, the missions or the public? Please submit your nominations for Guardian of the Week using the submit button at the top of the page.