The men’s baseball team held its sixth annual “Vs. Cancer” head shaving event in The Commons Tuesday afternoon during lunch.
Head Baseball Coach James Grandey said the team is third in the nation in money raised. The Beavers have raised nearly $7,458 as of 9:21 Thursday evening.
“Well I think it’s pretty cool for us as a program to be in the conversation with those larger Division I schools, especially those that obviously have more resources and a bigger fan base,” Grandey said.“It also shows us that our guys care about the opportunity to raise money for kids with cancer, to help fight childhood cancer, so it’s pretty meaningful. It’s hard to put into words but its pretty neat.”
Vs. Cancer is a non-profit campaign founded “by athletes for athletes” to raise money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. According to the Vs. Cancer website, 46 children will be diagnosed with cancer today, and 18 percent of those children won’t survive.
The site also shows rankings of where teams sit in terms of funds raised. At present, Bluffton is behind Rutgers University, who sits at second with just shy of $13,700, and Texas A&M, who is in first place with $17,608.
“Our goal this year was to get to $10,000, which would be the most we’ve ever raised in the six years we’ve done it,” said Grandey. “If we were able to do that, that would put us at $50,000 over the six years we’ve done this. We are just short of that right now but we still have a few more weeks to try to make up some ground there.”
The baseball team started raising funds to help fight cancer after former assistant coach Aaron Hutchison met the founder of Vs. Cancer at a baseball convention several years ago. Since then, players have been raising funds by soliciting friends and family for support.
Senior Blake Fox from Berne, Ind., raised the most money for the Beavers with an astonishing $695.
“This fundraiser is different in that we don’t necessarily see the money that is being raised,” said Fox “But we know that it is going to something that is greater than each one of us and probably to someone that needs it much more than we do. Being able to say that you are apart of a great organization like ‘Vs. Cancer’ is all the reward that we need and that is a refreshing feeling heading into our baseball season.”
Head Softball Coach Marissa Rush participated in the event by getting part of her head shaved.
“I decided to shave part of my head yesterday because I was going to do it the year before,” said Rush. “I wanted to keep my word. I was hoping that the baseball team would be able to collect a good chunk of money to add to all the money that the baseball team has worked so hard to raise, during lunch. I felt like there was a chance that there would be a decent amount of money given in order to get me to shave part of my head.”
Coach Rush did not get her entire head shaved like most of the baseball players did, she got the back part of hers shaved with what’s widely known as an “undercut.”
“Honestly, to me it’s just hair so I’m not too concerned with it and it was for a good cause so it was worth it. I would do it again; I don’t have any regrets.”
Donations may be made to support the Beavers’ effort through the end of March through the team’s page at vs-cancer.org.