The Laker lacrosse team scored big against childhood cancer March 5, when they raised more than $17,000 for research.
Lacrosse alumnus Vinny Garrison '97 and Coach Dan Witmer '82 organized the second annual Oswego St. Baldrick's Day event, which saw more than 75 Lakers (including the entire lacrosse team as well as soccer and hockey players), students, faculty and community members shave their heads to raise money for the cause. Joining in were Dominick Pike '81 and his son, Christopher, an Oswego High School senior who raised more than $1,000.
Garrison has been organizing St. Baldrick's Day events for the past four years, since he first attended an event at Pearl River, near where he teaches technology at Nanuet Middle School. His Pearl River event drew upwards of 280 "shavees" this year.
"It was just such a simple thing to do," said Garrison, who coached lacrosse in Nanuet for 10 years. "And my hair grows back."
Between 2006 and 2007, two of his students got cancer. "One year they shaved, and the next they were survivors," Garrison said. "It took it to a new level for me."
He gets a lot out of his participation in the St. Baldrick's Day events, he said. "I've had so much good luck; so many good people I've met."
A lacrosse player at Oswego and later a coach, he likens his involvement in the fundraiser to sports. "This is a different kind of team. I'm coaching to get the word out," Garrison said.
St. Baldrick's began as a casual conversation among a group of friends eight years ago. Now the movement has spread to 46 states and 18 countries, raising over $34 million, and shaving more than 46,000 heads, according to the St. Baldrick's Foundation Web site.
"It's a lofty goal when someone says, 'I want to cure cancer,'" said Garrison. "I can't, but I can help someone else do it."
- Michele Reed
Upper photo: Lacrosse team captains Dan Heyman '08, Mike Brewster '09 and Dan Rogers '08, from left, are shaved by Ann Moore, Pamela and Mary Anne Crisafuli, from left. St. Baldrick's organizer Vinny Garrison '97 looks on.
Lower photo: Rogers (front), Brewster and Heyman admire their new ‘dos.
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