Over 35 heads shaved at Pierce Your Heart St. Baldrick’s event raises over $100,000 for cancer research


The Broe family and Redfin Seafood Kitchen hosted Pierce Your Heart, a local St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraising event on Saturday, where over 35 volunteers had their heads shaved and over $100,000 was raised for pediatric cancer research.

The Broe family of River Place organized the event in memory of their son Pierce, who died in October of 2014 from a brain tumor.

“Since we lost Pierce, we continue to search for ways to honor not only his memory, but also the lives of all children affected by cancer,” said Janel Broe, Pierce’s mom. Pierce was 12 when he died.

Several years ago, Pierce, attended a St. Baldrick’s event in Marble Falls with his family. At the time, Pierce was losing some of his hair from the cancer treatments. He was moved to action at that event and he and his dad, Kevin, decided to have their heads shaved and raised $600 on the spot for cancer research.

The Marble Falls event was a catalyst for the local event on Apr. 2 at Redfin at the Trails at 620.

“Over 35 people were bold enough to ‘Brave the Shave’ to show solidarity with kids with cancer,” Janel said.

“My hair will grow back, kids with cancer don’t have a choice,” said B.J. Myers, River Place resident and dentist at 2222 Dental who had his head shaved at the event.

Carl Bischoff is a urologic oncologist and a friend of the Broe family who also had his head shaved. He was amazed at the amount of money an event like this could raise.

“I didn’t realize the impact it would have… friends of mine that are patients donated so much money… (I raised) almost $5,000 in only two weeks,” Bischoff said.

Matthew Crawford is an orthopedic surgeon from River Place and he also raised some $5,000 before the Pierce Your Heart event ended. He walked around with most of his hair cut off for a long time, finally raising enough to get the last bit shaved.

Crawford was doing this in honor of Pierce who he knew since his son and Pierce were preschoolers.

A team of volunteers worked tirelessly in the planning and execution of the Pierce Your Heart event. Other local friends raised money and supported the cause including Dr. Marty Molina, Shawn Slockers, Peter Eppele, Caelum Jones, Paul Gilbert, and Dr. AJ Zelinski.

“The way that the community came out and showed their support was overwhelming and for that we are truly grateful,” Janel said.

Redfin owners Mike McCollum and Bill Rasch hosted Pierce Your Heart  and the Dark Blonde band entertained the crowd.

Leah White and Laurie-ann Peacock of West Salon by Leah, “donated their time and talents. They shaved continuously for nearly six hours which was two hours longer than planned because of the large number of people who signed up on the spot to have their heads shaved,” said Janel.

All of the head shavings were done in memory of someone lost to childhood cancer.

“The pain of losing a child is unbearable… I don’t want any parent to suffer what we did watching their child endure the painful effects of this disease,” Janel said.

Childhood cancer exacts a high price on its victims and their families.

Pamela and John Heintz are the parents of one such child, Gabriel, who died ten years ago at age five, also of a brain tumor. For them St. Baldrick’s day, which they attended with their daughter Gwen and son Griffin, is an opportunity, “for people to get the word out that so many people are affected… When this event was brought into fruition we were asked to join forces to have Gabe as one of the honored kids. And we are very, very honored.”

Kai Slockers was only two when he succumbed to a brain tumor, but two years later his parents wanted to take part in this event, “to celebrate both Pierce and Kai’s memory. And we’re here to hopefully help future kids,” said Aki Slockers. Her husband, Shawn, and Kai’s uncle, Colby, had their heads shaved.

Besides remembering those lost to cancer, the event also featured survivors and their families. Tricia and Lindey Jennings spoke from the stage about their daughter Tori, who was diagnosed with cancer at age three.

“What you’re doing today, the money that you’re providing, is going 100 percent to pediatric cancer research. And it does make a difference in children’s hearts. And it does make a difference for the families as well. She is now 13 years old and this year we will be celebrating 10 years post-treatment.”

“Before the night had ended, a unanimous decision was made by all involved,” said Kevin Broe after the event. “The Pierce Your Heart event will be back even bigger and stronger next year to continue the fight against childhood cancer.”

Donations are still being accepted for this year’s event. Anyone wishing to donate online can visit  www.stbaldricks.org/events/Redfin.


Pediatric cancer and St. Baldrick’s Foundation facts:

  • Worldwide, a child is diagnosed with cancer every 3 minutes.
  • Childhood cancer is largely underfunded. Only 4 percent of U.S. federal funding for cancer research is dedicated to childhood cancers.
  • St. Baldrick’s is known for its head-shaving events where volunteers get bald in solidarity with kids fighting cancer.The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is the largest funder of childhood cancer research grants, second only to the U.S. government.