September 10, 2012 —
Eldred was alive with buzzing hair-cutting on September 9, as vollunteers took to the barber chairs to have their heads shaved for a good cause.
(The video shows how Jonathan Fox reacted to the process.)
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Eldred resident Lou Monteleone wanted to make sure Sullivan County knew it. Monteleone’s awareness began in 2007 when he participated in a St. Baldrick’s ( www.stbaldricks.org  ) signature head shaving event in Jeffersonville. “It changed my life” Monteleone intoned “and I became instantly involved.”
Since then, Monteleone has been so active with the foundation, that he spends months organizing, soliciting funds and planning local events connected to the foundation and childhood Cancer awareness every year. “everyone knows someone connected to this epidemic” Monteleone suggests “and it seems like it’s followed me since my first shaving.”
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a “volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives” as stated by the web site, and Monteleone has brought that awareness to the Upper Delaware valley and beyond through his tireless efforts.
“More dollars are spent on adult cancer research than childhood cancers” he informed “and one of the many wonderful things about the organization is that is entirely volunteer based, with only two percent of the funds raised going to administration and staff.”
Presently, there are more than thirty states involved, and events of all sorts were scheduled to occur across the country on September 9, including Monteleone’s “Human line of Hope” (http://www.facebook.com/humanlineofhope ), the “Conga Against Cancer” and the public head shaving.
The reason behind volunteers lining up to have their heads shaved is simple: “Because kids with cancer often lose their hair during treatment, “shavees” for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation show their support by shaving their heads voluntarily, and inspiring friends and family to donate money to support childhood cancer research.”
Monteleone points to some on line testimonials that echo his sentiments as well; “ Shaving my head for St. Baldrick’s is the most meaningful thing I have ever done in my life."—Alicia D. and “…honestly it was one of the best experiences I have had, not only shaving, but walking around bald and being able to inspire others…"—Eric M. among them. For those brave enough to become a “shavee” the encouragement reads as follows: “It’s easy. Just sign up, send your fundraising page to people you know and ask them for donations to support your shave—it’s similar to a walkathon, but without the blisters.”
To date, Monteleone’s local efforts have already raised over seventeen thousand dollars. The Human Line of Hope/St. Baldrick’s Foundation event will be held at the Corner Grill, 577 Rt. 55 in Eldred, NY on Sunday, September 9. To make a donation or become a “shavee”, visit the web site, call 888-899-BALD, or for more information contact Lou Monteleone directly at 845-557-3321