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Fourth-grader shaves head for friend who battled cancer

Roseville student’s school raises $15,500 for cancer research
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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Mikey’s Bald Brigade set out to raise money for childhood cancer research, and, oh boy, were they successful.

The 29 boys and their dads — with plenty of help from fellow students at Catheryn Gates Elementary School in Roseville — raised $15,500 for the campus’s inaugural St. Baldrick’s event on Friday, March 1.

The nationwide fundraiser generates money for cancer research. This local event benefits the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center through the Roseville-based nonprofit Keaton Raphael Memorial.

Gates’ student body joined in an outdoor assembly with music and dance as the boys and dads got their heads shaved.

“They shave as a gesture of caring and understanding for kids undergoing cancer treatments, which is a brave thing to do,” said organizer Penny Gaumond.

Her 9-year-old son, Michael, has headed up a shave team for four years, but this is the first time the group decided to host the event at the school.

After Michael’s head turned bald, the fourth-grader joined his peers in a celebratory dance, taking a quick break to explain his motivation for organizing a shave team.

“When I was playing baseball, my friend was diagnosed with cancer and he had treatment and is now recovered,” Michael said. “I do it for him.”