By SARAH DOOLITTLE
Four Points News
The Broe family of River Place raised more than $70,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation at their second annual Pierce Your Heart head-shaving event on April 1 at Redfin Seafood Kitchen.
The foundation is the only of its kind dedicated solely to raising funds for pediatric cancer research. The Broe family lost their son, Pierce, at age 12 to brain cancer. St. Baldrick’s Day encourages supporters to “brave the shave” for charity and in the name of those affected by childhood cancer, and over 50 participants did so on Saturday.
Pierce’s father, Kevin, has had his head shaved for the past four years, a tradition he started with Pierce while Pierce was undergoing treatment for cancer. This year, not only did Kevin and his two sons, Carson and Forrest, “brave the shave,” but mom Janel also joined in the fun, having her head shaved for the first time ever. Daughter Julianne supported her family and spoke at the event.
Janel said the day preceding the event, she was experiencing a little anxiety about getting her head shaved. Rather than vanity, her anxiety stemmed from, “the weight of the responsibility I felt towards the community in meeting our goal. I also felt the weight of being a representative for children and adults who are currently battling cancer and all who we have lost to this disease.”
Once her shave was underway, though, Janel, “looked out into the pool of attendees and saw both friends and strangers who were standing in solidarity. The love and support that we receive continues to amaze me.”
A large crowd was in attendance at the event, comprised of people of all ages, from all over the Four Points community and beyond.
Paxton Segina Played football with VHS student Jayelen Gray before graduating last year. Gray is currently battling cancer and, “is one of the strongest kids I’ve ever met,” said Segina. “Every day he’d show up for practice, show up for games… with a smile on his face… Jayelen is the perfect example of living life to the fullest.”
An honored guest was Madi Nuessner, VHS Legacy. She spoke at the event.
Pamela and John Heintz were there. Their family who lost a son over ten years ago to a brain tumor. Their other son, Griffin, shaved his head this year to honor his brother raising over $4600!
Kerry Pickus was also there. His son, Kyle is a leukemia survivor.
SportClips donated time and talent to do the shavings.
Michele Roach was serving her second year as treasurer for the event. “This is where my heart is, because children need that chance to reach their dreams and their hopes.”
Many of the Broe’s friends came out to support or volunteer at the event including Roach, Julie Crawford, Erin DeMoss and Kara Cox.
“We live in such a great community,” said Lori McCollum. She and her husband Mike own Redfin along with Bill Rasch and were grateful to have had the opportunity to host for two years in a row. “The Four Points area is so great about supporting each other. Owning a restaurant, this is what it makes it all worth it for us. We’re happy to be part of that.”
For the Broe family, the event is part of their ongoing efforts to honor Pierce and to keep his memory alive.
“Pierce loved adventure, friends, and a good (or bad) joke, and we try to honor him by keeping those things in our lives if even only in small ways,” said Kevin. “While every day is difficult, we try to face each day with at least a portion of the determination and strength that we saw from Pierce.”
Last year’s event raised over $130,000. This year the family had a goal of $80,000. Anyone can still donate by visiting www.StBaldrick’s.org and search for the St. Balrick’s event at Redfin.