When you stop to think about it, there are many terrible diseases in this world that cut too many people’s lives short; however, the ones that are often thought to be the most dreadful are the ones that take or affect the lives of children. Statistics show nearly one in every 300 boys and one in every 333 girls will be diagnosed with childhood cancer before their 20th birthday and in the United States more children are lost to cancer than any other disease. Many of us who have personally known a child or a family who has had to deal with such a horrible disease would be willing to do whatever it takes to find a cure, even if it meant giving up something you cherish, such as your beard. Adam Hipps, a native of The Rock, made a vow to do just that.
Adam is involved with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which raises money to fund childhood cancer research through individuals shaving their heads. He hosts a St. Baldrick’s event each year at the bar he manages in Little Five Points called Front Page News for a group involved with the JCI of Atlanta (aka Atlanta Jaycees) and has been one of the participants to shave his head before. This year, the group came to him with something different: raise $10,000 for the foundation and Adam would shave his beard, which he has been growing since December of 2012.
“They thought about it for a while before they came up with an amount, in fact we all thought about it for a while because at first I was like ‘No way’,” said Adam. “But then I was like, it’s for a good cause so I’ll do it. I’ve shaved my head before for it-and there’s a ton of people who shave their heads for it. They thought it (shaving his beard) might raise more money and be more meaningful. There are a lot of people who come into my bar who know my beard means a lot to me. It is something that defines me, I guess. I run a club called Embrace the Beard Atlanta, so it is a big part of who I am now.”
Even though Adam has grown rather attached to his facial hair, he knows that $10,000 will go a long way in the fight against childhood cancer. However, in order to reach that goal, he needs the help of many people, including his hometown. He stated they have raised about one-fourth of the amount needed to reach the goal and while he would love to be closer, he knows that any amount raised is beneficial.
“ I, myself have not been directly affected with this issue, but I know several people in my hometown of Thomaston have had to battle with this over the past few years and I have seen the pain and heartache it can cause. But at the same time how it can pull a community together and well that’s enough reason for me to shave this beard.”
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is the largest private (meaning non-government) funder of childhood cancer research grants and according to their website, www.stbaldricks.org, 79.5 percent of all the funding that comes in goes towards finding a cure. They only use 17.7 percent to pay for the fundraising events held and only 2.8 percent goes toward paying management and general costs; so you know any donation you make is being put towards finding a way to rid the world of this terrible disease.
There is still time to donate to the cause, however all money to go towards Adam shaving his beard must be collected by this weekend, as the event will be held on Saturday night, March 15. All donations are made online, which Adam feels is a safer way to do so because you know where your money is going. If you wish to donate, go to his personal donation page at www.stbaldricks.org/teams/mypage/90485 and click the “donate” button.
The head shaving party will be held this Saturday night at Front Page News, located in Little Five Points at 351 Moreland, Avenue NE and will begin at 5 p.m. It is expected to last until about 7 p.m. and then the band, The Armory, will be in concert.
Ashley Biles can be reached by calling 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @AshleyBiles1