At the tender age of nine, many can reflect on the joys of being carefree. There was no paying of bills, scheduling doctor appointments or any mundane “adult” tasks and few kids take the time to think much about engaging in philanthropic acts. However, one local girl will forever have the memory of shaving her head, not because she had to – but because she wanted to.
Zofia Barick, a courageous and thoughtful 3rd grader at the Jerry Ross Elementary school, was presented an opportunity to participate in St. Baldrick’s Day.
“I wanted to participate in St. Baldrick’s because I know people who don’t have hair due to cancer,” shared Zofia. “They get bullied and laughed at and I really wanted to help them.”
According to Zofia, shavee’s from last year’s event came to her school to talk about the cause and shared their experiences. She stated that she wanted to do it but became fearful at the thought of cutting all her hair off. By the time she got home, she had her mind made up and approached mom on the subject.
“Zofia came to me and said ‘you’re probably going to be mad but I want to do this,” stated Valerie Evans. “I asked what is ‘it,’ and she said that she wanted to shave her head for St. Baldrick’s. I had to stop myself from crying, I told her that I completely supported her but she had to be dedicated and follow through.”
St. Baldrick’s Foundation has been raising and donating funds to the Children’s Oncology Group for eighteen years.
According to the foundation’s website, “More children are lost to cancer in the U.S. than any other disease—in fact, more than many other childhood diseases combined,” yet “Less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute's budget is solely dedicated to childhood cancer research.”
Victoriously sporting her beautiful buzz cut, Zofia recollected being nervous, yet excited, leading up to and during the event.
“I remember the audience looking shocked as I was in the chair,” said Zofia. “It makes me feel proud to know that I got to participate in the same event as the Mayor. I wanted to meet him but maybe next time.”
According to the Crown Point St. Baldrick’s event info page, the March 16th event raised a total of $56,749. Mayor David Uran became the event’s top individual participant by raising $3,625 and the Jerry Ross Elementary School placed third out of the nine teams with $5,049.57.
“I was super proud of her, especially in this day and age with bullying,” stated Evans. “Specifically, to be able to do that and not care about what other kids are going to say about you because you know it’s for a good cause.”
Zofia’s father Steven Barick is equally as proud.
“I am amazed at how thoughtful and unselfish Zofia can be and how understanding and considerate she is to others, especially people with ailments,” shared Barick. “She has a great sense of humor and adventure to her, which she gets from both of her parents. I am very proud of her always and love her big heart.”
Currently, Zofia is an active Girl Scouts member and big sister that enjoys reading, painting, helping mom around the house, and playing volleyball. She does have some pretty big dreams for the near and not-so-far future.
“I would like to one day become a gymnastics teacher or a kindergarten / 1St Grade teacher,” stated Zofia. “I would also love to participate in a food drive for the local pantry during the summer as well as help collect toys for homeless children.”
Zofia states that she would like to participate in next year’s St. Baldrick’s Crown Point event.
“For anyone that would like to participate, I advise that if someone tries to make fun of you for participating, tell them that you did it for a good cause, that you raised a lot of money, and that they shouldn’t bully you because you’re helping kids with cancer,” shared Zofia.
The next St. Baldrick’s event is scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 29th 2018 at the Wicker Memorial Park Social Center.
For more information, check out the St. Baldrick’s Foundation event page.