This morning I went to visit the child life specialist in the pediatric oncology outpatient clinic here at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. I’ve been working on our head shaving event in the Foundation’s office and decided to pop over to hand out some of our new “Pocket Smiles” to spread cheer.
April 18th, 2013
It’s four months today… four months since we lost Kennedy to childhood cancer.
I didn’t realize that when I made arrangements for my lunch today with Pam, Kennedy’s mother.
I wanted to talk with her and see for my own eyes, how she was coming along. I wanted to somehow be there for her. I wanted to have lunch and share some of our plans and the ways we want to continue to help families, such as Kennedy’s, who face these wicked battles.
The good kind, that is, SODA JERKS!
We are tickled (probably because of the soda fizzies we are inhaling!) that our friends at Pure Sodaworks are lending their support to Jack’s Chattanoggins. We just LOVE their product and their philosophy for doing good business.
Tune in to Jack’s latest episode, right here!
Need a reason to shave your head for Jack’s Chattanoggins? Jack has his own list!
I can hardly believe the next shave event is approaching at, what feels like, light speed. It truly seems as though it was just a few short months ago that we swept the last bit of hair that surrendered to the buzz of the clippers off of the Chattanooga Market floor. But, ’tis true, time passes like a flash and we are excited about this year’s event!
The one thing that I discovered after last year’s event and wanted to delve deeper into, was that the actual shaving, is but a single day, however, the journey the shavee takes begins long before and lasts far beyond that day they the day shed their locks.
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.
Thank you to the following people who helped make yesterday a reality, and of course, to my husband Bill and the most beautiful daughter in the world, Faith.
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.