When 12-year-old Jack Skowronnek shaves his head this summer it won't be to beat the heat, it will be to help beat cancer. He is already hitting the trail to get other locals to help 'bare' the cost of pediatric cancer research and will be at Chik-fil-A's Gunbarrel location as well as the one inside the Hamilton Place Food Court Monday, June 6 to give out information and register participants from 4 to 6 p.m.
Volunteers find sponsors and agree to go under the razor blade together at Jack's Chattanoggins, an event to be held at the Chattanooga Market Sunday, June 26 beginning at 11 a.m.
Customers at the East Brainerd Chick-fil-A's June 6 can also request 15 percent of their bill that night be donated to Jack's Chattanoggins.
Chattanoggins is a larger-scale operation than Skowronnek's previous efforts, in which he raised more than $1,300 the first year on his own in sponsorship funds and $3,200 the next with the help of 13 friends and neighbors.
"It struck me as admirable for such a young boy to want to do something so big that impacts so many people like cancer [does,]" said Chattanooga Market general manager Paul Smith, who has lost several vendors to cancer just in the past few years. "I felt the event needed a larger audience, and I thought this would be a way to embrace helping others who are suffering from cancer."
Any business or organization interested in hosting an event or becoming involved should contact Dawn Skowronnek at 994-7680.
When Jack first had the idea to shave his head at age 10, he had never actually met a child with cancer, but he wanted to show kids with cancer it's OK to be bald after being inspired by the book "Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie." His mother, Dawn Skowronnek, then told him about the St. Baldrick's Foundation, an organization which raises money for childhood cancer through people who volunteer to shave their heads, many of whom are firefighters.
In the course of planning this year's event, he has developed a deeper connection to the cause through kids with cancer he has come into contact with.
"It's a little scary," said Jack, recalling a recent tour through the oncology unit at Children's Hopital. "I heard a little boy screaming and crying because they were taking marrow out of his bones. I've read about this, but I haven't seen it, and that was the worst scream I've ever heard."
Jack's goal this year is to find 50 people to volunteer to shave their heads at Chattanoggins. Anyone can register to participate, and all proceeds from the event will go to Children's Hospital to fund pediatric cancer treatment.
Register here by clicking on the "Register as a Shavee" link. Donations will also be accepted the day of the Jack's Chattanoggins event and at the recruiting events.
Chick-fil-A is at 1804 Gunbarrel Road and inside Hamilton Place Mall.