The Pueblo West View

Tavern event raises more than $15,000

The St. Baldrick’s event at Jimmy’s Tavern in Pueblo West raised more than $15,000 for children’s cancers Saturday, and organizers are ecstatic.

Since Jimmy’s started hosting its St. Baldrick’s event three years ago, the goal has been to raise $20,000. In its first year, more than $8,300 was brought in, and the event has steadily grown each year. Pueblo West organizer Grant Shay said although final numbers have not been determined for this year’s event, he estimates between $15,000 and $17,000 was raised this year.

“This is better than ever before,” Shay said. “It’s very exciting.”

St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity dedicated to raising money strictly for childhood cancer research. Each year, St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraisers are held on or around St. Patrick’s Day, in which community members take part by pledging to shave their heads in solidarity with kids with cancer.

There were 64 people who had their heads shaved at Jimmy’s last weekend for the fundraiser, while many, many more looked on.

There were 32 volunteers and 11 barbers.

Additionally, 68 local businesses donated to the event.

And while thousands of supporters nationwide don’t shave their heads, they donate money, pledge for others and take part in other activities that all help support the foundation.

“We gear this even to be a family event,” Shay said.

“We want kids to have as much fun as they possibly can. The way our community comes together for this great cause is always amazing.”

This year’s event included, of course, the head shaving, but also a small car show, live bands, demonstration by Bendell Karate, raffle and silent auction, face painting, grilled lunch and green lemonade and beer. A few changes had to be made because of wind and weather (like a bounce house for kids that had to be taken down for safety), but overall the festivities were great. Shay said many people have already pledged to be there again next year.

Donations to the raffle and silent auction included a $1,200-shed from Sean’s Sheds in Pueblo West, a stay-and-play package from the Wildwood Casino, a sports ticket package from Colorado State University-Pueblo and much more.

All types of childhood cancers combined receive just four percent of U.S. federal funding for cancer research. That’s why St. Baldrick’s is dedicated to children’s cancer.

The fundraiser hits close to home for many participants, including Ed Darchuk who has been part of the group at Jimmy’s, shaving his head each year. A cancer survivor himself, he was the top fundraiser this year (with nearly $3,000) and last year.

“And this year, he had been in the hospital and he told his doctor if he had to, he would sneak out for a couple of hours (for the St. Baldrick’s event) and then be back,” Shay said.

Darchuk arrived directly after getting out of the hospital to get his head shaved, showing just how important the fundraiser is to so many people.

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