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
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.
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.
Written by Pulse Staff
June 27, 2011 – 8:04 am
In only its third year in existence, a local charity has set a new record. Jack’s Chattanoggins is the brainchild of 12-year-old Jack Skowronnek. When he was ten, he read a book that inspired him to shave his head to show kids with cancer that being bald was OK. He raised $1,200 that year. Last year he got about a dozen other people involved and raised $3,200. Sunday at the Chattanooga Market, the event saw more than 60 people shave their heads, raising more than $17,000, nearly half of that coming in direct donations during the event.
That money will stay right here in Chattanooga to be used at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger in the Pediatric Oncology Unit.
The halftime entertainment at most Chattanooga Football Club games at Finley Stadium usually features a game or two on the field for some of the boys and girls in attendance to play.
On Saturday, during Chattanooga FC’s 2-1 win over the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves, CFC’s Robbie Hill and Tom Webster got involved in the action. But instead of doing anything with a ball, the show involved the players’ hair and a pair of clippers.
Hill and Webster got buzz cuts, in front of the announced crowd of 1,653, to support the Jack’s Chattanoggins fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital Foundation at Erlanger, a project started by 12-year-old Jack Skowronnek of Signal Mountain.
Hill said he let his hair get a bit long to make Saturday’s show more dramatic.
“I was going to get it cut a few weeks ago, but I decided I’d wait,” the Englishman said with a smile. “I’m always happy to help out with charities and this was a great cause.”
Donations were accepted throughout the game and the main Jack’s Chattanoggins event is today at the Chattanooga Market in the First Tennessee Pavilion.
Hill’s teammate, reserve defender Thomas Clark, handled his clipping duties. Jack’s mother, Dawn, cut Webster’s hair. Despite being an Air Force Academy graduate, Clark said that was his first time with wielding the clippers.
After a scoreless first half, the action picked up dramatically in the second. In the 65th minute, CFC fullback Nick Odeny pushed forward and scored on a breakaway to put CFC up 1-0.
Five minutes later, Atlanta’s Aziz Izmour was tackled in the box by CFC’s Nick Chase, who had been pushed in the back moments before, and the referee awarded the Silverbacks a penalty kick. The score was tied soon after, but it was a penalty kick in the 89th minute that lifted CFC to a win.
Mark Beattie flipped the ball toward a defender who inadvertently touched the ball with his hands, giving CFC a chance to regain the lead. Forward Chris Ochieng sent the ball into the net for the victory, which kept CFC in first place in the National Premier Soccer League Southeast Conference standings with a 5-1-1 record in league play.
“I was nervous, but after the referee blew the whistle I calmed down and picked a spot and hit it,” Ochieng said.
Chattanooga FC visits the Georgia Revolution next Saturday before hosting the Under-20 team for CF Monterrey, in Mexico, on July 4.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Signal Mountain resident Jack Skowronnek, 12, is looking for volunteers willing to shave their heads to raise funds for pediatric cancer treatment at Children’s Hospital. He will be at a recruiting event tonight at Buffalo Wild Wings downtown from 6 to 8 p.m. His Jack’s Chattanoggins head-shaving event will be at the Chattanooga Market Sunday, June 26 beginning at 11 a.m.
Signal Mountain resident Jack Skowronnek, 12, is busy convincing locals to aid in his fundraising effort for pediatric cancer by shaving their heads. Volunteers find sponsors and agree to go under the razor blade together at Jack’s Chattanoggins, an event to be held at the Chattanooga Market Sunday, June 26 beginning at 11 a.m.
Any business or organization interested in hosting an event or becoming involved should contact Dawn Skowronnek at 994-7680.
He is hosting several recruiting events around town to boost awareness, participation and therefore fundraising. Jack will be at Buffalo Wild Wings in Hixson to give out information and register participants tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. Customers can also request 10 percent of their bill tonight be donated to Jack’s Chattanoggins.
Chattanoggins is a larger-scale operation than Skowronnek’s previous efforts, in which he raised more than $1,300 the first year on his own in sponsorship funds and $3,200 the next with the help of 13 friends and neighbors.
“It struck me as admirable for such a young boy to want to do something so big that impacts so many people like cancer [does,]” said Chattanooga Market general manager Paul Smith, who has lost several vendors to cancer just in the past few years. “I felt the event needed a larger audience, and I thought this would be a way to embrace helping others who are suffering from cancer.”
When Jack first had the idea to shave his head at age 10, he had never actually met a child with cancer, but he wanted to show kids with cancer it’s OK to be bald after being inspired by the book “Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie.” His mother, Dawn Skowronnek, then told him about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization which raises money for childhood cancer through people who volunteer to shave their heads, many of whom are firefighters.
In the course of planning this year’s event, Jack has developed a deeper connection to the cause through kids with cancer he has come into contact with.
“It’s a little scary,” said Jack, recalling a recent tour through the oncology unit at Children’s Hopital. “I heard a little boy screaming and crying because they were taking marrow out of his bones. I’ve read about this, but I haven’t seen it, and that was the worst scream I’ve ever heard.”
Jack saw an article on Signal Mountain resident Peyton Ogle, 6, who is currently in remission after suffering from lymphoblastic leukemia. Skowronnek contacted the family, and Peyton’s parents started a team to participate in the event.
Jack’s goal this year is to find 50 people to volunteer to shave their heads at Chattanoggins. Anyone can register to participate, and all proceeds from the event will go to Children’s Hospital to fund pediatric cancer treatment. Register here by clicking on the “Register as a Shavee” link.
Donations will also be accepted on the day of the Jack’s Chattanoggins event and at the recruiting events.