Every year when St. Baldrick’s Day is coming up, I always need to call local businessman and philanthropist Lou Monteleone and check what year it is for the event. So, Lou tells me that 2023 is …
Every year when St. Baldrick’s Day is coming up, I always need to call local businessman and philanthropist Lou Monteleone and check what year it is for the event. So, Lou tells me that 2023 is the eighteenth year. Thankfully, the weather held off any of its usual storms and it did not rain when Lou donned his fuzzy green leprechaun hat and started his duties as the Master of Ceremony for the St. Baldrick Day activities. For those who may not know, St. Baldricks Foundation founded in 2000 is the largest volunteer powered organization that is solely centered on raising money for worldwide medical research projects to find a cure for pediatric cancer and fund projects to push the day the cure is drawn closer to those who really need it. Most of the research projects happen world-wide but many projects taking place in the US happen at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. The fact is there has never been an actual Saint Baldrick declared to sainthood by a Catholic Pope, but it is a play on two concepts-shaving a head bald for charity and St Patrick’s Day. Because of more pollution and chemicals being found in the environment the rise in the overall incidence of pediatric cancers in the US has increased by 0.5% while the adult rates have generally declined. The good news is that because of new treatment advances in recent years eighty-five percent of children with a cancer diagnosis will survive for five years or more. In 2012 President Obama declared the month of September as childhood cancer awareness month and it is signified by the display of a gold ribbon (#Show Your Gold). Pediatric cancer remains the leading cause of death worldwide for kids under the age of fourteen years old.
This year’s St. Baldrick’s Day fundraising started way before the actual day of the event. Lou worked his fundraising magic and raised almost all of his $10,000 on Facebook and through individual donations which placed him within reach of his goal of raising $200,000 over the years. Now his new St. Baldricks goal is to raise $250,000. The 2023 St. Baldricks Day had all of the traditional activities and features. There were six head shavings. The Line of Hope Across America was greatly bolstered this year by a group of outstanding student athletes from the Eldred Central School who were there to support their fellow student Isabella Giglio- a cancer survivor. There was an impressive array of raffle baskets. The Bake Sale featured many great treats including my now summer favorite the “copycat” Starbucks” Glazed Lemon Loaf. What was no longer part of the day’s activities was the Conga Line Against Cancer that went up Route 55. This was due to insurance issues and the lack of having any Town constables to protect the participants.
Lou Monteleone has not a minute to spare these days, but he told me he keeps going on because “It just breaks my heart to see kids struggling so much and end up spending their time being a patient and not just being a kid. “So, for these past eighteen years every September no matter what, Lou has stepped up and finds the time to have his St. Baldrick event.
Lou will be accepting donations for St. Baldricks Foundation until the end of September. For more information on how to donate go to www.stbaldricks.org/events/lineofhope2023. If you would like additional information, you can email Lou at email@example.com or call The Corner at 845-557-3321.
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