(West Des Moines, Iowa – August 3, 2021) – Seven inspired volunteers “braved the shave” to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research at the 16th Annual St. Baldrick’s Head-Shaving Event hosted by Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa (FMH) on July 20. A portion of the funds raised at the event will support research grants at Blank Children’s Hospital.
The event, which was held outdoors and with limited attendance, raised a total of $48,110 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. Blank Children’s Hospital is a St. Baldrick’s Foundation grant recipient.
“Ensuring high-quality patient care for children is our mission at Blank Children’s Hospital, and with the help of funds like those raised by Farmers Mutual Hail, this enables us to meet a critical need for children here in Central Iowa and across our state that are fighting cancer,” said Steve Stephenson, MD, president and chief operating officer for Blank Children’s Hospital.
Farmers Mutual Hail made a corporate donation of $30,000 towards this year’s total funds. “The St. Baldrick’s Foundation has helped change the lives of children fighting cancer around the world and right here in Iowa,” said Ron Rutledge, FMH president and CEO. “We’re proud to have raised over $1.35 million for this organization throughout these past 16 years, and we look forward to continuing to support the Foundation in the future.”
The event was limited to friends and family of FMH employees, and featured a raffle, food trucks, speakers, and of course, the signature head-shaving activity where volunteers who raised funds shaved their heads in solidarity with children fighting cancer.
“Exciting and inspiring are exactly the words I would use to describe it,” commented head-shaving volunteer and FMH intern Andrew Menke. “Thanks to the overwhelming support from each and every one of my co-workers, no matter how big or small, every individual boosted my confidence and sense of pride in doing such an amazing thing. This has been one of the most fulfilling experiences I have had, especially knowing that in the end, I am giving up such a small piece for something that is much bigger than me!”
Thank you to the event sponsors: Bow and Arrow Communications Inc. and Sunny’s Son’s Salon; and to event emcees Lou Sipolt and Jackie Schmillen from We Are Iowa.
About Blank Children’s Hospital
Blank Children’s Hospital is committed to family-centered healing, caring and teaching. With hundreds of doctors, nurses and staff who care for patients from before birth through adolescence, Blank Children’s is a hospital unlike any other. The number of medical specialists, programs and services is constantly growing to improve care and meet the changing health needs of children and families. Blank Children’s Hospital is a provider-based facility of Iowa Methodist Medical Center. www.unitypoint.org/blankchildrens/history