Category Archives: Uncategorized

A haircut for childhood cancer at the Chattanooga Market (Nooga.com)

(Photo: Rich Smith Photography)
Jack Skowronnek hosts his fifth Jack’s Chattanoggins this Sunday.

How much good can one haircut do?

For the 170 Chattanoogans who have shaved their heads as part of Jack’s Chattanoggins in the past two years, one haircut has helped raise more than $57,000 for the fight against childhood cancer.

Continue reading A haircut for childhood cancer at the Chattanooga Market (Nooga.com)

Jack’s Chattanoggins raises thousands for childhood cancer research (Nooga.com)

Jordan Sonnenblick, Jade Pickering and Jack Skowronnek show some scalp at the Chattanooga Market. (Photo: Madison Baldwin)

 

Yesterday, the Chattanooga Market hosted the fourth annual Jack’s Chattanoggins head shaving event.
 
According to NewsChannel 9, over $125,000 has been raised in support of pediatric cancer research since the event’s inception. This year’s event will add $38,000 in donations (and still counting) to that total, with 151 people shaving their heads this year.
Continue reading Jack’s Chattanoggins raises thousands for childhood cancer research (Nooga.com)

Pam & Her Warrior

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.

Continue reading Pam & Her Warrior

The Morning After the Shave

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

Fantastic Sam’s

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!

BMW of Chattanooga

Brittany Moncrief – Moncrief Photography

Rich Smith – Rich Smith Photography

Tammy Rardin

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

 

 

 

Essay – Jack’s Chattanoggins and St. Baldrick’s

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.

We shaved a head early!

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.

Chattanooga Times Free Press – June 27, 2011

published Monday, June 27th, 2011

Shear devotion

Jack Skowronnek feels his shaved head at Chattanoggins, a  fundraising event for pediatric cancer care organized by the 12-year-old at the Chattanooga Market on Sunday.

Jack Skowronnek feels his shaved head at Chattanoggins, a fundraising event for pediatric cancer care organized by the 12-year-old at the Chattanooga Market on Sunday.

Photo by John Rawlston.

Greg and Kelly Heard vividly remember the day more than 12 years ago when they shaved their young son Cody’s head. The boy was battling a nerve tissue cancer called neuroblastoma, and the side effects of chemotherapy were just kicking in.

“His hair was coming out in patches, so I said, ‘Buddy, if you let me shave yours I’ll let you shave mine,” said Greg Heard. “He stood up on the commode and shaved it right off.”

Greg Heard keeps his head shaved as a tribute to Cody, who died shortly before his sixth birthday. And on Sunday afternoon, Cody’s younger brother Lucas, 15, joined his father, shaving off all of his hair at the Jack’s Chattanoggins event at the Chattanooga Market.

More than 60 people, ages 4 to 70, parted with their locks Sunday to raise money and show support for children who lose their hair during chemotherapy treatment.

The event, hosted by the Children’s Hospital Foundation, is named for Signal Mountain Middle-schooler Jack Skowronnek. Jack was inspired to get his head shaved two years ago by the book “Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie,” in which a boy shaves his head in solidarity with his little brother, who has leukemia.

Over the last two years, Jack, 12, has raised money through head-shaving events for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money for childhood cancer research.

“I want kids to know it’s OK to be bald,” said the freshly-shaved Skowronnek, who usually sports what he calls “Justin Bieber hair.” A shaved head isn’t a sign of weakness, he believes: “It’s a sign of fight. It shows that people are alive and they are fighting.”

When the Children’s Hospital Foundation decided to hold its own head-shaving fundraiser, organizers asked Jack to be the face of the event.

The funds raised Sunday will primarily be directed to Erlanger’s Center for Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Some participants raised money through sponsors online; others brought in checks. Bekki Deck, of Chattanooga, raised $1,800 online to shave her blond hair.

Deck, 31, admitted she was a bit nervous. “I mean, I had no idea what shaped head I had,” she said, laughing. But after the shave she said she felt “liberated” and happy to contribute something to the fight.

“We’ve all had our scares, and we all know someone impacted by cancer,” she said.

Many Chattanooga Market vendors donated a percentage of their Sunday sales to the fundraiser, said Ali Dunn, annual giving director with Erlanger Health System Foundations.

“It’s been really incredible to see how ready people have been to pitch in. Some of the stories we’ve seen today have been pretty incredible,” she said.

Other “shavees” included mothers who wanted to show their own children diagnosed with cancer how to be brave, and a man who hasn’t parted with his ponytail for decades, and Chattanooga Market owner Paul Smith.

Heard said the event was an important step for Lucas and for her family. They look for ways to remember Cody, who would have graduated high school this year.

“It’s something special. Sometimes you feel like people have forgotten about it, and so you just look for ways to keep remembering him,” she said.

Lucas said he plans to get his own head shaved each year as a tribute to his brother.

And if Jack Skowronnek has his way, there will be opportunities to do that every summer.

“I want it to keep going, and I want it to get really big and spread really far,” he said.

American Cancer Society – Signal Mountain Celebrity Waiter Fundraiser

I have to tell you – I did not know what to expect for the Celebrity Waiter event that Jack and I were invited to participate in.  But, I knew it was a fundraiser for a great cause, and you know that we have a soft spot for those!  So, how does this work?  Well, several of Signal Mountain’s “well known” citizens were the wait staff at The Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club last night and were responsible for serving their invited guests…well, not just food. WE were expected to provide the entertainment as well!  The guests had the opportunity to make requests of the wait staff, however, they were also required to tip for services rendered!

Faith singing "California Girls"

It was a mix of karaoke, poetry reading and a local version of the Village People’s “YMCA”.  All quite entertaining.  However, I was most entertained by my children’s performances.  Faith (who set up the request herself) was asked to sing “California Girls” by Katy Perry.  I will say that she has no idea what the song is about, which makes it very cute.  I’ve also been told that I should have her audition for Disney immediately.  She did the entire song, dance moves, arm moves and our good friends were also up on the dance floor in the wings to support her.  The next awesome moment, was when Jack was asked to eat broccoli for a $50 tip.  It was a sight!   There was lots of dancing, laughing and all around amazing time, and a special guest appearance by Jed Mescon.

Several servers were dressed in characters including: a 50’s poodle skirt gal, the Beverly Hillbillies, Miss Kitty and the sheriff and a black jack dealer.  Jack, Faith and I were dressed in our custom aprons courtesy of the talented Elaine Richie of Pearls and Pot Pies.

Elaine Richie, Pearls and Pot Pies, Custom Aprons, Dawn Skowronnek
Well dressed servers.

We were honored to participate and want to thank our table sponsors for their generosity – Treehouse Kids Clothes and Pearls and Pot Pies.  Also, to our amazing friends who dined at our table, y’all made it a great evening!  And congratulations to our team for receiving the “Most Likely to Succeed” award.

The event raised $14,000 which will further the mission of the American Cancer Society’s patient support, research and education programs in Hamilton and surrounding counties.

Shaving Heads at the Chattanooga Football Club

Chattanooga Football Club for Jack's Chattanoggins
Set up in the concourse ready for donations.

Several weeks prior to our June 26th shave event, we had the opportunity to address the Chattanooga Football Club to see if we could find some new recruits!  We’re always on the lookout for new heads to shave! The team was inspired by Jack’s story and several players volunteered to have their head shaved on behalf of Jack’s Chattanoggins. However, rather than shave at the market, we did it at a home game during half-time, the night before the shave. This was a unique turn of events.

And furthermore, they were willing to let Jack and me (aka Mom) have a go at it. As soon as the whistle blew at half-time we headed out to the field and had a few moments to address the fans about our fundraiser for pediatric cancer. Then, the buzzing of the clippers began and the hair started to fall. In just a few minutes we had two freshly buzzed CFC players, Robbie Hill and Tom Webster.

After the game, we wandered on field and many of the players were signing autographs and Jack brought his Chattanoggins poster down to be signed. We were approached by a brother and sister who wanted to thank us for what we were doing, they told us about the older brother they had lost to cancer.

My favorite part of the evening had to be when two lovely young ladies approached Jack to have their picture taken with him. Yeah, Jack!  Stay tuned for more photos!

The Sirena Azul – Sailboat in Belize Painting to be auctioned at Kid’s Cancer Fundraiser on June 26

The Sirena Azul - Sailboat in Belize Painting by Jill English (@artdish)
The Sirena Azul - to be auctioned on 626/11 at Jack's Chattanoggins

 

 

 

 

The Sirena Azul

48” X 24” X 1.5” Oil on Canvas
Jill English 2011
Value $1695

A couple of weeks ago I was checking out my new followers on Twitter and I came across @artdish and I loved the name so I had to check her out.  Strolled over to her profile to find out that she was an artist and then visited her website.  Can you imagine my surprise when I came across this?

Jill English Home Page
I immediately followed her back and had to ask how she found me, thinking it had to be related to Jack’s Chattanoggin’s. It wasn’t, she was seeking out artists and found me. In my spare time, which hasn’t been much lately, I do enjoy being artistic and designing original jewelry.

I’m still in awe of the connection that was made and coincidence of the work our family does for childhood cancer and for her loss. I am honored that she is sending to us an original painting for us to auction off at Jack’s Chattanoggins head-shaving event on June 26th at The Chattanooga Market.

I realize I am completely ignorant (and grateful to be) to understand what children with cancer and their parents go through. In some minute way, I pray our efforts can help the children and their parents beat these dreadful diagnoses.