In the mood for a new hairstyle this spring? Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity is proving once again how beautiful bald can be with its Shave for Schreiber, Buzz for Bobby fundraiser.
The event—which is taking place March 24 between 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Abele Quad—involves a shave-a-thon in which Pike brothers and other members of the Duke community shave their heads in solidarity with cancer patients. It honors two Pike brothers—Mark Schreiber, a senior who was diagnosed with central nervous system germinoma in January 2016 and is currently in remission, along with Bobby Menges who died from his cancer in September 2017.
“Bobby loved this event, and the entire day you didn’t see him without a smile on his face,” said sophomore Ryan Fader, one of the philanthropy chairs for Pike. “This meant so much to Bobby, so we want to make this event the best it can be.”
Money raised at the fundraiser will benefit the Bobby Menges “I’m Not Done Yet” Memorial Fund, which provides funding for transitioning adolescent oncology at the NYU-Winthrop University Hospital, as well as the adolescent and young adult oncology program at Duke University Children’s Hospital.
Now in the fundraiser’s third year, the fraternity is expanding its efforts by adding the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Hair Donation, a movement to create free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer. Stylists from Posh Salon in Durham will be available to cut donors’ hair. The minimum donation is 8 inches of non-dyed hair, and participants will receive a Posh Gift Certificate for taking part in the fundraiser.
Fader explained that last year they realized many of the women who attended the event wanted to participate as well. In preparation for this year's event, several of the brothers went to Posh Salon and asked if stylists could come to the fundraiser, and they agreed.
“We wanted the girls to be able to donate as well,” he said. “We want everyone in the Duke community to feel as involved as they can.”
Junior Noah Eckberg, president of Pike, indicated that this event will be the largest yet, with more planning and fundraising efforts than events in the previous two years. Their goal is to raise $50,000. Donations can be made through the fraternity’s YouCaring page. In 2016, the fraternity raised more than $60,000, with $20,000 donated in the first 24 hours.
“We’re trying to keep the event fresh and new,” he said. “Before, we did the event on Clocktower Quad; now it’s right in front of the Duke Chapel.”
The event in previous years had about 200 to 300 attendees, but the fraternity is expecting about 500 this year. They’ve also invited patients, doctors and families from the Duke Cancer Institute in the hope of expanding the event's reach.
In addition, the event will include free food and drink along with football, spikeball, volleyball and music.
Junior Sam Reiff, one of the philanthropy chairs and a good friend of Menges', noted that they are promoting the event by tabling in the Bryan Center and having people change their cover photos and profile pictures on Facebook.
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“Social media is the biggest way because it allows us to have people donate online,” he said. “We’re trying to collect a lot of the money there.”
They are also hosting the Bobby Menges Memorial Blood Drive Friday in Brodhead Center in Room 068 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For the brothers, continuing to fundraise for cancer research allows them to honor Bobby’s legacy and remember their friend.
“He touched every person’s life that he encountered,” Fader said. “Everyone in our fraternity has been putting maximum effort into this.”