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Davidson’s Own St. Baldrick’s Founder – Back in the Shave for 2021

by | Feb 22, 2021

Davidson neighbor Tom Leonhardt will be loosing his locks for a good cause. . .again. You can help him raise money for St. Baldricks.


Twenty years ago, a group of business guys in Chicago were having a drink after a round of golf. And to be sure, this story is likely not going where you think it might. (Although the headline was a real giveaway.) At some point, one of the guys thought it would be a great idea to raise money to conquer childhood cancer by shaving their heads.

One of those guys was Tom Leonhardt – now a resident of Davidson.

When Tom reached out to News of Davidson to see if we would help spread the word, we agreed. And while we could have started an article from scratch, Tom summed things up pretty well in the email.

This from Tom – in his own words:

“As you may know, in March of 2002 I was the first person to shave my head for St. Baldrick’s in Chicago and I am a member emeritus of the founding Board of Directors. A total of 10 of us shaved, raising $70,000 that first year. In the years that followed, St. Baldrick’s presence in Chicago grew to hundreds of area-wide events and millions of dollars raised to fund childhood cancer each year. And I shaved my head more than a dozen times over those years. (Pictures from my shaves over the years are posted on my fundraising page).

You probably know that I left Chicago 4 years ago and have grown out my ‘beach-locks’ over those years. However, my ‘partners-in-crime’ from those early years have approached me to shave as Chicago celebrates 20 years of head-shaving. This year’s event will be virtual, so I’ll be able to participate even though I won’t be in Chicago in person. But the good news – you can sign in to watch the shave!

What made me decide to shave my head again? Healthy children, and three healthy grandchildren. Also, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, events last year were cancelled worldwide, and donations for childhood cancer research were down by more than $12 million!! Lifesaving research has been put on pause, but these kids need your help!

I know that there are many worthy causes, but every two minutes, somewhere in the world a child is diagnosed with cancer. By age 50, 99% of survivors will suffer long-term health effects from their treatment.

Your contribution will support the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants worldwide. Since 2005, St. Baldrick’s has funded more than $305 million in research grants to find cures for kids with cancer. This is all thanks to the generosity of donors like you!

My goal this year is to raise $10,000, and to start it off Donna and are donating $2,000.  Any donation will go a long way.

– here are some ways your gift makes a difference:

  • $50 provides two hours of a clinical trial, often a child’s best hope for a cure
  • $100 covers a student to work in a pediatric oncology research lab for one week
  • $250 allows for ten hours of research to improve patient and survivor quality of life

Over the years I have met so many kids in treatment for cancer.  Kids like Maggie, Josh, Alicia and Sara, who are survivors as a result of research.  And kids like Chris, one of the first patients I ever met, and whose funeral I attended ten years ago.  These kids deserve our help – I hope I can count on your donation to fund lifesaving research.

Thank you so much for being a hero to kids with cancer. Together, we will make a difference!

Make a donation (and check out the pictures from my head-shaving) here: Tom Leonhardt | A St. Baldrick’s Participant ” [end quote]

And with that, we hope that members of the Davidson community will chip in to watch Tom’s hair get chopped off for this great cause.

From the looks of his donation page, he’s well on his way to meeting his goal. But, why stop there – how about raising twice as much.

We are grateful for the members of our community who not only get involved with charitable efforts across the community, but for those who bring a charitable effort with them when they move to Davidson.

Go Tom!

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