$80K and Counting: 2013 St. Baldrick's 'Biggest Yet'
Collingswood firefighter Kevin Ehret says volunteers outdid themselves at the event.
With 1,200 to 1,300 attendees of all ages and nearly $80,000 in donations (and counting), the 2013 St. Baldrick's Day event was "definitely the biggest one we’ve had," said lead organizer and Collingswood firefighter Kevin Ehret.
"A lot of donations came in right at the end that boosted [the count]," Ehret said. "Between the bar, the Chinese auction and the door," the event was well-supported, he said.
Ehret said about 800 or so wristbands were sold, but that "a ton of kids" were also in attendance, and the Scottish Rite Auditorium was full. A team of volunteer 16 barbers working nonstop shaved the heads of about 450 to 500 people, he estimates, with "a lot more women this year" cutting their hair off in a show of solidarity with cancer patients "which is awesome," he said.
"We had a couple kids who had some illnesses who came out," Ehret said. "One lady asked if we could sponsor her daughter. She said 'I don’t expect these things to be big, and this is huge,'" he said.
An event of such a scale relies on lots of volunteers as well, and St. Baldrick's had those in spades. Ehret thanked the kitchen staff who cooked for the thousand-plus attendees and singled out for special praises Carol Staszewski, who operated the huge basket auction at the event.
Staszewski is the mother of the late Collingswood firefighter, Andrew Staszewski, in honor of whose memory the event was begun in town.
"There were 70 gifts," Ehret said, including a 55-inch flatscreen television, iPad mini, sports tickets, bicycles and baskets of cheer; even a patio set.
"Any amount of money that we get is something more than what they had already," Ehret said. "[Even if] We don’t reach our goal, we still raised some money for the kids."
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