Tag Archives: childrens hospital foundation

15-year-old Jack Skowronnek gains national recognition for philanthropy (Nooga.com)

Published by Nooga.com – view original here.  (January 20, 2014)

When he was just 10 years old, Jack Skowronnek read a book that would change his life forever.

That book, “Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie” by Jordan Sonnenblick, told the story of 4-year-old Jeffery and his diagnosis and treatment of leukemia. It also revealed the financial hardships and social impact that his condition had on his family and the community.

Skowronnek was so inspired by this book that he created Jack’s Chattanoggins, an annual head shaving event that promotes awareness of children who are battling cancer and helps raise funds for the Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital in Chattanooga.

Continue reading 15-year-old Jack Skowronnek gains national recognition for philanthropy (Nooga.com)

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.

Nooga.com – May 9, 2012

Chattanoggins head-shaving event returns to Chattanooga Market

Event raised more than $18,000 last year for the Children’s Hospital Foundation

• Published Wednesday, May 9th 2012

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.

Nooga.com – April 26, 2011

Chattanooga Market begins new season

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

Jack Skowronnek has his head shaved to raise money for kids with cancer. Contributed photo.

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.

Chattanooga TFP Online – June 2, 2011

Signal Mountain youth seeking partners in cancer clip job

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.”

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.

ChattanoogaPulse.com – June 27, 2011

Cancer Charity Event Raises Over $17,000

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.

From the Signal Mountain Weekly News – May 25, 2011

Skowronnek seeks ‘Chattanoggins’ to raise funds for kids with cancer

Recruiting event at Buffalo Wild Wings in Hixson Wednesday, May 25

By Emily Crisman

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

photo

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.

Raising Awareness of Pediatric Cancer Fundraiser on WRCB’s 3 Plus You

We always enjoy visiting our friends at the 3 Plus You Show – Jed Mescon, Julie Edwards, Cindy Sexton and David Karnes. Somehow, whether scheduled or not, my kids always end up on screen! However, today, we were there with a purpose – talking about Jack’s Chattanoggins. We are less than a month away from our 2011 and are in the middle of our media blitz. It’s so much fun and I enjoy watching Jack as he hones his public speaking skills, a unique opportunity for a child his age.

Enjoy watching!