A little off the top can go a long way to finding the bottom line in the fight against childhood cancer!
Bay High art teacher Tom Schemrich said his decision to part ways with his ponytail was an easy one as he swapped his trademark hairstyle as part of a St. Baldrick’s Day fundraiser.
The popular faculty member has worn his locks long for 32 years. He took part enthusiastically in the good-natured challenge that saw Bay students double their goal and raise $20,000 to fight pediatric cancer in return for Mr. Schemrich’s locks.
“There was nothing to decide,” said Schemrich on Friday, March 14, as he faced the clippers of Village Barber’s Jim Sgro in the Bay High gym.
“These kids first wanted to raise $4000, then it was $10,000. And now it is up to $20,000! Of course I agreed to the buzz. There was nothing to decide when compared to the commitment of these students.”
Contributions were collected in just one week (which included a snow day with no school) through cash, checks and online donations.
Schemrich’s promise to shave off his long-time ponytail hairstyle, which he has worn since he was 15 years old, was a big motivation for the fun event. It underscored words shared by Bay High Principal Jason Martin.
“Never forget you can make a difference,” Martin told the student body. “And never forget the power of an idea. This whole event started when Emmy Korte, a senior, stopped by and said she had an idea for a spirit week that she thought would be a good fundraiser. Then Will Huntington and Kyle McPhillips said ‘We think Bay High School should become involved with St. Baldricks.’”
Bay High’s Youth Philanthropy Fellowship (YPF) and Bay High’s Student Council and Key Club sponsored the fundraiser. Several students also had their heads shaved, including Nick Best, Michael Clark, Tim Garner, Molly Harkness, Jared Hengst. Elyse Legeay, Andrew Majercek, Jack Rodman and Andrew Taylor. Staff members being head-shaved included teachers Joe Cheney, Billy Judge, Jared Shetzer, Scott Stelter and the school’s principal and YPF adviser, Jason Martin.
“Virtually all the fundraising was done by the students,” said Principal Martin. “We had a couple side raffles for staff and parents which contributed some funds, but the overwhelming majority of the money comes directly from donations.” He says he believes this was the most funds raised in one week in the history of the school.
The head shaving took place in the Bay High West Gymnasium Friday afternoon, March 14, after the assembled students honored two-time Bay High State Swimming Champion, Trevor Lake, and the rest of the Bay High Swim Team. Teams from all the winter sports were also introduced and cheered for their achievements.
The Village Barbershop in Bay Village supplied two barbers to do the work, and hairstylist Regina Warblock and an assistant cut the girls’ hair, which will be donated to Locks of Love for cancer patients.
“Mr. Schemrich’s challenge made us think bigger and stretch. If we hadn’t done this, we would have fallen short of our full potential and the great difference we really could make,” said Martin.
“Never underestimate the power, strength and beauty of a community coming together for one cause. This year we have adopted the ‘One Rocket Nation’ motto. This motto represents our pride, spirit, and unity. All of these came together this week, and the end result was amazing!” said Martin.
Here is the video link of Schemrich filling his obligation to get his ponytail, his preferred hairstyle since he was 15 years old, shorn for the great cause of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation: