In the Name of Love “N.E.G.U.”: It Spells ‘Love’ at St. Bernadette School

Staff and students at St. Bernadette School in Westlake rallied around 4th grade cancer patient Michael Orbany last Friday for a fund raiser called Brave the Buzz. Over 140 participants had their heads shaved as part of the pledge drive that raised over $50,000. Michael looks on as art teacher Kristen Fox got buzzed.

Staff and students at St. Bernadette School in Westlake rallied around 4th grade cancer patient Michael Orbany last Friday for a fund raiser called Brave the Buzz. Over 140 participants had their heads shaved as part of the pledge drive that raised over $50,000. Michael looks on as art teacher Kristen Fox got buzzed. (Photos by Mike Ottiger).

Love is spelled N.E.G.U. at St. Bernadette School in Westlake.

N.E.G.U. It means “Never, Ever Give Up.”

It is the rallying cry for 9-year old Michael Orbany, a fourth grader at the school who has been battling cancer for four years.

Last Friday, friends of N.E.G.U. and St. Baldrick’s Day converged for an unforgettable fundraiser to support research for pediatric cancer. 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. St. Baldrick’s signature event is its annual head-shaving day to raise money for childhood cancer research.

Michael checks out Miss Fox’s buzz, complete with his motto “N.E.G.U” (Never, Ever Give Up!)

Michael checks out Miss Fox’s buzz, complete with his motto “N.E.G.U” (Never, Ever Give Up!)

“Brave the Buzz” kicked-off at 10 a.m. in the packed out school gymnasium. The goal was to raise $20,000, but by the time the event was over, N.E.G.U.’s minions had raised close to $53,000!  It took over 150 shaved heads (including one female student) to do it.  Participants even included players on the St. Ignatius Basketball Team.

Other special guests were also in attendance, including “The Trash Talkers” garbage can percussionists from St. Edward High School, and Captain America. Big thanks also go to 20 barbers who donated their time and talents, and Frankie’s Italian Restaurant, who provided lunch at the end of the day.

It was a terrific day of demonstrating the power of Michael’s motto, N.E.G.U. The words this acronym represents are the BIG reason St. Bernadette put together this amazing event. Michael has been through so much over the past four years. This was the St. Bernadette way of standing by him in support.

Nothing said it better than the last and most touching “buzz” of the day, that of teary-eyed Kristen Fox, Michael’s art teacher, who capped this absolutely phenomenal event to perfection.

Not only did Miss Fox meet her goal of raising $25,000 through Team Fox, she also added the letters of Michael’s motto, N.E.G.U, into her buzz when she had her head shaved.

N.E.G.U! “Never, Ever Give Up.”  It was a day no one will ever forget.

 

 

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