Austin Adams has lost his hair, because of chemotherapy treatments he has taken to battle cancer. By late afternoon on Sunday, about 70 people at the St. Elmo Fire Station had similar hairstyles.
Those individuals who agreed to have their heads shaved did so both as a show of support for Austin and other children with pediatric cancer, and to raise funds to fight that type of cancer.
Bryan Jennings of the St. Elmo Fire Department initiated the St. Baldricks Foundation fundraiser on Sunday, hoping to raise $1,000 for the foundation established to help in the battle against pediatric cancer. But the effort quickly picked up, and the amount raised through the event sponsored by the SEFPD and MABAS 54 has been creeping toward $15,000.
As he planned the event, with the help of fellow firefighters and other local volunteers, Jennings tried to cover all of the bases. One thing that he didnt think hed have to worry about was having enough space at the fire station for Sundays event.
However, area residents threw him a curve, packing into the fire station and overflowing out onto the stations apron.
His expectations for the fundraiser were far exceeded, due to the generosity of local people, who banded together to express their willingness to join in the fight against pediatric cancer, while having a whole lot of fun at the same time.
We applaud Jennings; the other members of the St. Elmo Fire Department; firefighters, paramedics and telecommunicators within the MABAS borders; and the other individuals who made Sundays event so successful, both in terms of raising money and in expressing their support and love to a 9-year-old Shumway boy who is going through a fight for his life.