A quick picture before appearing on the 3 Plus You show with the Chattanooga Roller Girls.
It’s Monday morning, the day after the shave and Paul Smith was right, Monday morning came and everything was fine.
There are so many people to thank for a wonderful event yesterday. As a I write this post, we know that we raised over $30,000 and more donations are left to be counted. There were 100 shavees and 40 gallons of hair shaved.
First of all, thanks goes to my son, Jack Skowronnek, whose little heart has always cared so much. I don’t know what most parents would do when their 10 year old announces the need to shave their head, but I’ll never regret my choice to let him do what his heart told him. And of course, to Jordan Sonnenblick whose book inspired Jack in the beginning.
We are thankful for the 100 shavees who joined us yesterday in an effort to support children battling cancer in the Chattanooga area. Every one is fabulous! And then, there are those we know on a personal level, whose support touches our hearts so deeply.
The most moving moment for me yesterday was watching the Chattanooga Roller Girls get their heads shaved. Up until this point, I hadn’t cried yet. I guess I’m getting a bit used to it. However, while watching the girls, particularly Tamara Obscura, who was so obviously moved or terrified at what she had started, that’s when I lost it. I cannot imagine what was going through their heads at the time – they couldn’t even see what was going on. Flood gates were open at that point and the emotions begin to pour out.
One of THE funnest moments was had from the most charismatic group of shavees – the Chattahooligans! Out of nowhere we heard their voices singing as they approached the shaving area. The chanting/singing was so unexpected and drew the crowd in. Here’s a peek of their antics.
Ali Dunn – Children’s Hospital Foundation
Paul Smith – The Chattanooga Market
EPB, our presenting sponsor, as well as their very own Dr. Shock, our emcee
Jim Brewer – Brewer Media Group
Michelle Lisotto – Derryberry Public Relations
Dan, Kim & Doug and their team – Texas Roadhouse
The Chattanooga Roller Girls – by the way, their next home bout is June 30th!
Brittany Moncrief – Moncrief Photography
Rich Smith – Rich Smith Photography
The folks at WRCB 3’s 3 Plus You show
The morning crew at WDEF 12
Ken Nicholson – Trends on 3 (WRCB)
This N That
Jennifer Edge – Triple 7 Studio
Mike Taht – Munich RE
By Luke Johnson (for 2012 Modern Woodmen Speech Contest)
My dad has crazy, wild, rock star hair! It’s curly, bushy, very dark brown (and gray). And his eyebrows are even bigger! So, two years ago when he told me he was going to shave his head I thought, what a mistake, BIG mistake! We went to the Sweet Gipsy Café and there was music and food and lots of smiling faces. It was a good time. My dad signed in and we sat outside and watched tons of people young and old getting their heads shaved. I was thinking to myself, what a cool thing everyone was doing, however, I was not brave enough to shave my own head. I came to find out that a 10 year old boy was behind this whole event. That was even more amazing! His name is Jack, and his story is really inspiring.
Jack Skowronnek read a book about a middle schooler whose brother had cancer and who shaved his head to help his brother feel better about losing his hair after chemotherapy. This book inspired Jack to shave his own head, but he did not stop there. His mom helped him realize that he could do more. After some research, Jack signed up to shave his head through St. Baldrick’s. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer driven organization that shaves heads to fund research for childhood cancer. So my dad got a shave, a shirt, and money was raised for a great cause. Of course my dad looked extremely goofy with no hair and those huge eyebrows! But he thought it was the least he could do.
I thought how cool that was that Jack was making a difference. Who would have thought a 10 year old boy could care enough to shave his own head let alone work hard to put on an event so others could get involved. I’m 10 years old and I know that I spend most of my time playing outside and doing my own hobbies, not helping others in this kind of BIG way.
The first event Jack participated in and organized raised around $1,300. The year my dad shaved his head, Jack raised around $3,000. Last year, Jack started his own organization called Jack’s Chattanoggins. He teamed up with The Pediatric Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital to continue to raise money for children diagnosed with cancer here in Chattanooga. The third year of his event Jack raised $17,000! And, this year his goal is to raise $30,000! What a huge difference this money will make! I think the idea of shaving your head is a brilliant way to raise money. I know many people wanted to give money to see my dad bald! Jack says that he plans on doing these events for the rest of his life. He inspires us all to help others. As Jack has said, you don’t have to know the person, you just have to have a heart and care. He hopes to one day have 1,000 people shave their heads at the event.
For those of you who know us personally, you’ll know that we recently moved to Atlanta. Although, we have moved, we still continue our work on Jack’s Chattanoggins for the city we still love so much.
My husband now works for Munich RE and their Philanthropy Committee invited us to their first Philanthropy Fair to share what we do with Jack’s Chattanoggins. They also thought it would be a great idea to have an executive shave their head to promote the cause and volunteerism. Well, we did that yesterday. It was a HOOT!
As I write this, Mike Taht, our gracious volunteer has raised $3,380! AND, that’s not the best part. The best part would be the company MATCH for that amount. Yep, we’re a little giddy.
Here are two awesome videos from yesterday.
A 12-year-old shaving his head for the summer is not uncommon, but rarely does someone raise more than $18,000 by doing so.
Jack Skowronnek, now 13, will be hosting his Jack’s Chattanoggins event again June 10 at the Chattanooga Market to raise money for pediatric cancer patients at the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.
The event aims to raise money for the Children’s Hospital Foundation by asking volunteers to shave their heads for donations from their families and friends.
So far this year, 30 “shavees” have already registered, Dawn Skowronnek, Jack’s mother, said. Walk-up shavees are also accepted the day of the event with a minimum $25 donation.
Nearly 50 percent of those signed up so far this year are women, Skowronnek said, which is an increase from last year.
“Some of them are mothers whose children have survived cancer, and they are doing this in support of them,” she said. “It is really moving … It is so exciting to watch them come forward.”
Jordan Sonnenblick, the author of the book “Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie,” which initially inspired Jack to shave his head, said he was “thrilled” about the impact of his work.
“In real life, my ‘inspiration girl’ lost her brother after I wrote that book, so I feel a tremendous responsibility to raise funding and awareness in the battle against childhood cancers,” Sonnenblick said.
Last year, Sonnenblick, who has been unable to attend the event, Skyped with Jack as he had his head shaved.
“I could at least express my awe of Jack live while his shearing was in progress,” he said.
Skowronnek said she is just happy to have been able to encourage Jack to do something positive with his idea and raise awareness.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are, you really can make a difference,” she said. “The biggest thing is just to not discount anything your child says or an idea they bring to you … I just taught Jack that you can make a difference, not just empathize but actually take action.”
As for Jack, “he is just ready to get his hair cut now,” Skowronnek said.
The head-shaving event will take place at the Chattanooga Market from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with volunteer hairstylists from Fantastic Sams cutting hair.
Individuals who want to have their head shaved, make a donation or volunteer at the event can click here.
I am racking my brain trying to remember how it is I met Violet Heart-Breaker and decided to attend my first roller derby bout…perhaps, I’ll have to ask her. However, I do talk to so many people, and most don’t escape me with just a passing “hello”. Nonetheless, we attended a couple of bouts last year, and to my surprise having not known anything about derby, it was a blast. In my teenage years, I spent my weekends on those four wheels gliding around the wooden floor of the Axle Roller Rink in Chicago. When the closed the doors, it was like a death in the family to me.
So, it is so very exciting to see roller derby growing and to be able to enjoy the Chattanooga Roller Girls who continue to kick major arse! You must attend a home bout if you can, the next one being on May 12th at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Jack and I will be there recruiting and spreading the word about the June 10th shave. It is a great family event.
Not only are these girls fabulous athletes, they do as an organization support and stay involved in their community. We are *THRILLED* that some of the girls have formed a team of shavees to support our event. In fact, women are coming out of the woodwork to get their heads shaved to support those precious kids who battle cancer.
It stirs my heart each time I listen to why a shavee has decided to participate. Everyone has a reason. For some, it’s empathy for those in need which often times can bring to the forefront of their consciousness, a realization of their life’s blessings. For others, cancer has touched them personally. And too often I find, the later is the reason.
What ever your inspiration or motivation, join us on June 10th for the shave! You will be amazed at the humming of the clippers and the good mojo floating around when people unite to help those in need.
By Mary Barnett
• Published Tuesday, April 26th 2011
The Chattanooga Market will celebrate its 10th year when opening day begins this Sunday in the First Tennessee Pavilion.
There are many things that make the market unique week-to-week and year after year, including a rotation of 224 new vendors, 12 new farms, and a fresh line up of musical performers. New and old sellers at the market reserve their weekly spots as their schedules allow, which makes any given Sunday a unique experience.
Every Sunday focuses on a theme or local tie-in, and this season there will be 6 new events added to the 34 week schedule that runs through December 17, with three of the newest events taking place in the first two months.
May 22: Kids In The Kitchen
Kids In The Kitchen is an annual event sponsored by the Junior League of Chattanooga to teach children about healthy eating habits and exercise. More than 40 businesses, restaurants, local dieticians and chefs have partnered with the Junior League, Chattanooga Parent magazine and Earth Fare to put on this year’s event, which is making its market debut.
Activities include educational games, chef demonstrations, dance, yoga and pilates for kids, special performances and healthy snack ideas. The program began in 2006 in an effort to address the rapid rise of childhood obesity and the associated health issues children have due to being overweight. The League’s new cookbook, Seasoned To Taste, will be on sale during the event.
June 12: Chattanooga Green Festival
Chattanooga Green Festival will present interactive activities throughout the day to educate and raise awareness of sustainability practices and highlight green living. Topics such as water conservation, energy savings, transportation alternatives, urban forestry, community gardens, recycling, composting and much more will be be offered.
The event is a collaboration between Chattanooga’s Office of Sustainability and the Chattanooga Market. The event debuted in 2010 with 55 vendors in Coolidge Park during Outdoor Chattanooga’s annual outdoor expo and gear swap. This year organizers hope to attract even more vendors and visitors by switching the location to the Sunday market
June 26: Chattanoggins
Chattanoggins is a head-shaving event that a local sixth grader, Jack Skowronnek, brought to Chattanooga via Chicago to raise money for kids with cancer.
Anyone interested in having their head shaved at the Chattanooga Market can sign up online. Like a walk-a-thon, shavees register then get friends and family to donate money in support of their participation.
All of the shaving will be done by one of the 8-10 licensed salons who are volunteering. Organizers said they will all be using a standard set of clippers set on the first setting to give a basic buzz cut. There will be no razors or shaving creme involved. All money raised goes to the Children’s Hospital Foundation, which is the fundraising arm of the Children’s Hospital of Erlanger, formerly T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital.
This fall will see three more new events at the market including Harvest Festival on September 11, Celebrating Girl Scouts on October 9 and The Chattanooga Chili competition on November 20. The chili contest is a returning event, but this year’s will be much different and invite broader participation, organizers said.
In 2010, Chattanooga Market contributed in raising over $200,000 for local non-profits through the special event days.
“It’s our constant mission to give back to our community and provide a platform for our non-profit partners to increase awareness,” the organization said in a press release.
Jack Skowronnek of Signal Mountain would like to see more Chattanooga noggins.
The 12-year-old has been inspired by the book “Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie,” in which a middle school student gets his head shaved in solidarity with a younger sibling with cancer.
Jack will have his blond hair buzzed later this month to raise money for the Children’s Hospital Foundation at Erlanger. Jack, a rising seventh-grader at Signal Mountain Middle/High School, said he wanted to let people know “it’s OK to be bald.”
The hair affair — officially called Jack’s Chattanoggins — will play out on June 26 at Chattanooga Market in the First Tennessee Pavilion. In the meantime, he’s hoping to convince scores of area residents that bald is beautiful.
People also willing to risk a short summer cut can register for the event and raise money for the organization by visiting www.JackShaves.org.
At last count, 20 people — including some members of the Chattanooga Football Club — had registered for the hair-raising fundraiser, according to Dawn Skowronnek, Jack’s mother and the event organizer.
Jack first had his head shaved two years ago when the family lived in the Chicago area. Donations went to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers.
He read the book on the recommendation of the librarian at his school, he said, and was inspired to shave his head as the character of the book did.
“I didn’t know you could raise money [that way],” he said.
That year, his haircut netted $1,300.
Last year, after the family moved to Signal Mountain, more than $3,000 was raised for the charity with a public event — and 14 shaved heads — at Sweet Gipsy Bakeshop Cafe on Signal Mountain.
Mrs. Skowronnek’s introduction to oncologist Dr. Eric Gratias at last year’s event and the Children’s Hospital Foundation’s desire to do a similar fundraiser led to Jack being asked to be the face of the 2011 affair.
Betsy Chapin Taylor, president of the Children’s Hospital Foundation, said it was the perfect pairing.
“As an organization devoted to advancing the well-being of children, Children’s Hospital Foundation is delighted to collaborate with a bright young man who recognizes that, even as a child, he has the power to make a positive impact on the world around him through his advocacy and fundraising to help local kids with cancer.”
With the elevated platform of Chattanooga Market, the 2011 goal for the fundraiser is $20,000, according to Mrs. Skowronnek.
“We need heads to shave and donations,” she said. “We hope people will come out and enjoy the event.”
She said she hopes area restaurants might be willing to host recruiting events or donate gift cards for participants and that corporate sponsors might come forward.
Mrs. Skowronnek said participants need not worry about becoming chrome domes. No razors are involved, she said.
“There’s a little [hair] left,” she said. “It’s all done with clippers.”
Most sixth-graders summer plans are focused around vacations and summer camps, but for 12-year-old Jack Skowronnek, that just is not enough.
Jack has partnered up with the Children’s Hospital Foundation at Erlanger to organize a head-shaving event called Jack’s Chattanoggins to raise money for children’s cancer treatments.
The event, which takes place Saturday, June 26, at the Chattanooga Market, will be more than just head-shaving. There will also be food, music, and an auction, which will include an original painting that was donated by artist Jill English, who lost her son to cancer.
For Jack, this will be the third time he has shaved his head to support children with cancer.
The head-shaving began when Jack was just 10 years old, after he was inspired by a book he read called Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, by Jordan Sonnenblick, in which a boy shaves his head to support his younger brother after he is diagnosed with leukemia.
“He finished the book and he just announced to me that he needed to shave his head,” his mother, Dawn Skowronnek, said.
Skowronnek said she wanted to teach her son that he could do more than just shave his head to support these kids, that he could also raise money to help pay the high cost of their treatment.
The first two year’s that Jack shaved his head, he signed up to do so through St. Baldricks, a national, non-profit organization that encourages people to shave their heads and donate to help cancer patients. In those two years, Jack raised more than $5,000.
This year, Skowronnek said Paul Smith, general manager of the Chattanooga Market, contacted her and asked if Jack would like to have his own event there.
“I was driving down the road and I listened to the story (on the radio) about Jack … and what he was doing and I wanted to do something,” Smith said. “It was just heartwarming and it sounded like it needed a larger audience.”
As a result of that, and the support of the Children’s Hospital Foundation, Jack’s Chattanoggins was created.
“I plan on doing this for the rest of my life,” Jack said. “It made me feel like you don’t have to know who the person is you just have to have a heart and care.”
One day, he said he hopes to have 1,000 people shave their heads at the event.
Smith, who has signed up to have his head shaved, said, “The best way for people to get involved … is to come in and put a little money down on our heads.”
How it works
Volunteers, called “shavees” will shave their heads in support of the children who lose their hair to cancer treatments. They will then receive donations in their names from friends and family members who want to support them.
All of the money raised will go to the Children’s Hospital Foundation and help fund treatments for the more than 50 Chattanooga-area children who are diagnosed with cancer each year.