St. Shaverick’s Day still strong at Athena Consolidated eight years later

Published on March 17, 2017

Kennedy Gallant gets his head shaved by Felicia MacIntyre during the 2017 St. Shaverick’s day event.

©MILLICENT McKAY/TC MEDIA

It’s only hair.

That’s what Leam Dickson reminded himself before he sat in his school’s gymnasium and got his head shaved.

“This is my third St. Shaverick’s Day. And of all the things you can do to help others, this has to be the simplest,” said the 15 year old.

Each year students, teachers and community members ask for pledges in support of St. Shaverick’s day, a school fundraiser in support of the IWK telethon.

The day can consist of five to 20 “shavers” who get their head shaved as students and staff cheers them on.

A "before" photo of the six students who participated in 2017 St. Shaverick’s festivities including Carter Ripley (back left), George Madumba and Dravin Kowalski, Dylan Richard (bottom left), Leam Dickson and Kennedy Gallant.
MILLICENT McKAY/TC MEDIA

Memories

“The first time I signed up to shave my head, I was nervous. It was really daunting to sit in front of your entire school as they watch you get your head shaved. But it feels like second nature now.

“With the support of your class and your family, it’s a lot easier, and it’s for a great cause.”

Dickson says its neat to see first-time “shavers” step forward each year.

“It makes me feel really good when I see someone step up to do this. It just shows that they were inspired just as much as I was to help those who are dealing with serious illnesses.”

A cause close to the heart

The annual event was started in 2010 by phys.-ed teacher CJ Studer, in an effort to promote Saint Patrick’s Day.

“I’m Irish and celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day and wanted a way to get the students involved. But at the same time I guess you could say I have a personal reason to help the IWK. When two of my children,Aisling and Seamus, were babies that had heart surgery at the IWK, so we owe them a lot.”

Father and son in-law, Jim Cramm (left) and CJ Studer, get their heads shaved in the 2017 St. Shaverick’s day event.
MILLICENT McKAY/TC MEDIA

Seeing new and returning kids come to get their heads shaved warms the heart, said Studer.

“It’s pretty impressive how that they’ll stand up in front of their to shave their head. We’ve had four girls participate over the years and the response was incredible.

“But what’s more, it also shows that these kids will step up and support the community.”

An "after" photo of the participants, George Madumba (back left), Dravin Kowalski, Kennedy Gallant and Leam Dickson, Dylan Richard (bottom right), CJ Studer, Parker Ripley and Jim Cramm.

©MILLICENT McKAY/TC MEDIA