The student news site of Emmaus High School



The student news site of Emmaus High School



Shave for the Brave returns

During the 2022 Shave for the Brave event, members of the community volunteer to shave their heads in support of the fight against pediatric cancer. Photo by Gabe Meyers.

This was previously published in our February 2024 issue.

Emmaus High School’s staple community event, Shave for the Brave, is set to make a triumphant return to the school community. The event is planned to return on April 26, 2024 at 5 p.m., marking its impact in the fight against cancer.

Planned and executed by EHS’ Pediatric Cancer Club, a non-profit group that actively works to help combat childhood cancer, participants in Shave for the Brave voluntarily shave their heads to raise funds and awareness for cancer research. The act is a symbol of solidarity and courage for individuals and families battling childhood cancer.

Led by the advisor, athletic trainer Liz Del Re, as well as with help from English teacher Shannon Petrunak, the planning committee has been working tirelessly to bring the event to life. They donate all funds to St. Baldrick’s foundation.

 “Baldrick’s impacts so many lives,” Del Re said. “It changes so many things, like the average cost of a clinical trial is roughly $11-15,000, and it takes care of those things. That’s the mission.” 

In the past, Shave for the Brave was typically held in the spring of every other school year, with the last event in the spring of 2022. In preparation to bring the event back to the community, it was originally scheduled for the fall of 2024, until it was ultimately moved back to spring.

According to Del Re, they initially held the event in March but planned to move it to September after concerns of snow. Inclement weather became a concern because of the large number of participants, causing the shave to be held outdoors. They ultimately settled on hosting the event in April. 

“[In] 2022, we took the event from inside–because it grew too big to have in our gym–to outside,” Del Re said.

Anticipation over the return of the event builds for those involved, as the event’s revival holds the promise of renewed hope and fundraising for critical research. Shave for the Brave is poised to be not just an event but a testament to the strength needed in the face of adversity.

“The Class of ’24 has been greatly affected by pediatric cancer and will be in the real world by next fall,” English teacher Shannon Petrunak said. “I wanted to give them the chance to make a difference before graduation day.” 

Pediatric Cancer Club holds a wide variety of events and fundraisers in order to support the fight against cancer, including the Gold Out game. However, Shave for the Brave marks their largest turn out each year, with over 1000 attendees and over 200 shavees. Shave for the Brave amassed over $159,720 in 2022, and organizers hope to crush that milestone with this year’s event. 

The planning process of the 2024 event looked a little different than previous years. With Petrunak taking over the event, they faced some challenges in getting the event back on track. 

Despite the changes in this year’s shave, Del Re believes that the fundamental purpose remains the same.

”I think that it’s the same hope [for this year],” Del Re said. “You are shaving your head to stand in solidarity with those who don’t have a choice and what they’re battling.”

Petrunak commented on the attractions present at the event.

“We will honor local families affected by pediatric cancer, we anticipate a lot of great raffles, including a special EHS t-shirt quilt, and we will sell concessions,” Petrunak said. “We’ve got a few things in the works to add to the positive atmosphere. The biggest attraction is seeing our local barbers volunteering their time and talents to shave individuals who want to stand in solidarity with kids who are often bald during treatments.”

As razors buzz and locks fall, attendees and participants alike unite against childhood cancer, and create everlasting progress in the fight.

“It’s such an interesting environment,” Del Re said. “You go from feeling like chaos on the inside because you know that you’re pulled in so many directions, and then the event gets underway. You do your opening speech and the honorees come up and share their stories, and it’s just this unbelievable roll of emotions.” 

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