Jack Skowronnek poses with some of the Chattanooga Roller Derby girls at last year’s head-shaving event. This year, the roller derby girls have put together a team that signed up to have their heads shaved in support of Jack’s cause. (Photo: Brittany Moncrief, Moncrief Photography)
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.