Tag Archives: Drums Girls & Dangerous Pie

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.

Nooga.com – June 19, 2011

Sixth-grader raises money for kids with cancer

• Published Sunday, June 19th 2011

Photo credited to Rich Smith Photography.

 

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.

To find out more about the event and how you can help, visit http://jackshaves.org/ or http://www.jackschattanoggins.org

To find out more about the Children’s Hospital Foundation, contact Amanda Whitaker at Children’s Hospital at (423) 778-8057

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.

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.

Nooga.com – July 4, 2011

Event raises more than $17,000 to benefit pediatric cancer

• Published Monday, July 4th 2011

Jack Skowronnek before and after one side of his head was shaved. This is the third year he has shaved his head to support kids with cancer, and he says he never plans to stop.

More than 60 men and women showed up at the Chattanooga Market last Sunday to shave their heads in support of pediatric cancer patients.

Jack’s Chattanoggins, started by 12-year-old Jack Skowronnek, was sponsored by the Children’s Hospital Foundation and raised over $17,000 for the foundation. All of the proceeds will go to support children with cancer and help pay for their treatments.

“Having this be the first year we were doing this as a city-wide event, I really had no idea what to expect,” said Dawn Skowronnek, Jack’s mother. “I just remember when we started shaving- it was packed. It was standing room only, it was really incredible.”

Dawn said that after the event began, more than 30 walk-ups came because they had decided to donate and shave their head for the cause.

“Next year in my mind I’m going to call it a mega-shave,” Skowronnek said. “I want at least 100 people.”

As for Jack, he still plans to shave his head every year.

“I wanted people my age undergoing chemotherapy to realize that a shaved head isn’t a sign of weakness- it’s a sign of a fight,” Jack said. “It shows that people are alive and they are fighting.”

Jack began shaving his head three years ago to support kids with pediatric cancer after reading a book called “Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie.

This was his first year planning Jack’s Chattanoggins with his mother. He and his family had previously partnered with St. Baldricks to raise money for children with cancer.

Two brave “shavees” pose after getting their heads shaved. Contributed photo.

12-Year-Old Challenges Community to Shave Heads for Pediatric Cancer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 1, 2011

Contact: Dawn Skowronnek 423-994-7680
dawn.skowronnek@att.net

12-Year-Old Challenges Community to Shave Heads for Pediatric Cancer
Event set to take place June 26 at Chattanooga Market

Chattanooga, Tenn., − On June 26, 2011, the First Tennessee Pavilion in Chattanooga will be the site of a hair-raising event. Well, more like a hair-falling event. That’s when people will be lining up to shave their heads in support of pediatric cancer care. Thanks to the efforts of 12-year-old Jack Skowronnek, “Jack’s Chattanoggins” will be teaming up with the Children’s Hospital Foundation at Erlanger Hospital and its Pediatric Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders to raise money – and awareness – for children’s cancer treatment through a head-shaving event at the Chattanooga Market. Jack and his Chattanoggins will be raising money as “shavees” by soliciting donations from friends and family. Anyone can register to participate, and all proceeds from the event will go to Children’s Hospital to help fund life-saving pediatric cancer treatment.

Inspired two years ago by the book “Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie”, Jack decided to shave his head to show kids with cancer that it’s okay to be bald. After some research by his mom, Dawn Skowronnek, Jack discovered that he could shave his head and raise money for the research and treatment of childhood cancer through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. That first year, Jack raised over $1,300. In 2010, Jack repeated his head-shaving event, and convinced some friends to jump on the bandwagon. The result was over $3,000 in donations, along with local businesses donating their time and efforts to help feed, entertain and shave heads.

This year, Jack has teamed up with the Children’s Hospital Foundation to make this event a city-wide affair. Thanks to Paul Smith and the Chattanooga Market, Jack will have a large venue for his Chattanoggins to shave their heads. The event will be organized and managed by Dawn Skowronnek and Children’s Hospital Foundation, and promoted via social media channels, grass-roots efforts, as well as radio ads with media partner, the Brewer Media Group. Jack is hopeful that he can convince local firefighters, police and perhaps some local Chattanooga celebrities to become shavees to help his cause.

Jack’s Chattanoggins is currently looking for opportunities to partner with restaurants throughout the city and suburbs for a series of recruiting events. Any business or organization that is interested in being part of this great event can contact Dawn Skowronnek at 423-994-7680. Individuals or groups that want to have their head shaved on June 26 can go to www.JackShaves.org and become a Chattanoggin by clicking on the “Register as a Shavee” link. You do not need to shave your head to support the event; online donations and volunteering the day of the event are equally important.

The event will begin at 11:00 AM on Sunday, June 26 at the First Tennessee Pavilion. Donations will also be accepted on the day of the event.
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Jack’s Chattanoggins – June 26, 2011

Book by Jordan Sonnenblick

My name is Jack and I’m an ordinary sixth-grader. I like playing basketball and lacrosse, and enjoy time on my computer and texting friends. I also enjoy reading; from Harry Potter to Rocket Boys to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. But one book inspired me in ways I never thought any book could. Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie, by Jordan Sonnenblick, is a story about a middle school boy whose younger brother is diagnosed with leukemia. The boy ends up shaving his head to make his younger brother feel better about losing his hair to chemotherapy. After reading this book, I wanted to show my support for kids with cancer by shaving my own head. I’ve done this two years in a row and have managed to raise over $5,000 to help fight childhood cancer. Now, I want to go bigger!

This year, my friends at the Children’s Hospital Foundation are helping me raise money for kids’ cancer treatment by hosting my head-shaving event. On Sunday, June 26th, 2011, at the Chattanooga Market (one of my favorite places), volunteers called “shavees” will shave their heads in support of kids who lose their hair during cancer treatment. These shavees will receive donations in their name from their friends and family, and, in then the donations, help fund life-saving pediatric cancer treatment. Believe it or not, people will give a lot of money to see you sacrifice your hair. Don’t worry, it grows back!

Some facts from my friends at Children’s Hospital

The Pediatric Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Hospital is the only comprehensive oncology unit in the region with over 3,500 patient visits each year. This year alone, more than 50 Chattanooga area children will be diagnosed with cancer and over 95 percent of them will choose to stay Children’s Hospital to receive their treatment. Since the oncology doctors at Children’s Hospital follow the same cutting edge treatment protocols shared by other top children’s hospitals across the country, parents can be confident their children will receive the highest standard of care without having to leave their familiar social networks.

If you have been touched by a child with cancer, or, like me, have read about it, then you know they not only lose their hair but, sometimes, years from their childhood going through treatment. And, I hate to think of those kids that lose their lives altogether. But, together, we can support this important treatment and give children back their dreams.

To join me in the fun, or to learn more about Children’s Hospital Foundation, please visit www.jackschattanoggins.org or call Amanda Whitaker at Children’s Hospital at 423.778.8057. If you can’t participate as a shavee, then please think about volunteering, donating or just spreading the word. Thanks for your support. Together let’s help end kids’ cancer!

Just for fun, here are the bloopers from making the Welcome video for Jack’s Chattanoggins home page.