Leprechaun dressing up for a cause

Devlin Gray dresses as a leprechaun in an effort to raise money for cancer research.

Since the beginning of March, one Marquette student has been dressing up as a leprechaun before walking out the door each morning. Some may have seen him and assumed this leprechaun was just another attention-craving student.

The leprechaun is actually Devlin Gray, who is taking part in a nationwide effort to raise funds for children’s cancer research.

Gray, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, is increasing awareness about the Evans Scholars’ celebration of St. Baldrick’s Day. Baldrick’s, a combination of the words “bald” and “Patrick,” is an event held across the country around St. Patrick’s Day. Participants get donations for cancer research in exchange for a promise to shave their heads.

The event started in 2000 when three Boston businessmen transformed their annual St. Patrick’s Day party into a fundraiser for children’s cancer research. The original plan was for 17 people to raise $17,000 on March 17. They ultimately raised more than $100,000.

Over the past 10 years, the event has grown to include more than 108,000 people shaving their heads, raising more than $69 million for cancer research, according to the foundation’s Web site.

Milwaukeeans who volunteer to shave their heads will get their haircuts at the Evans house on March 27. They will then hand in cash donations received and get a T-shirt.

Kevin Scott, a senior in the College of Business Administration, is one of the organizers of St. Baldrick’s Day at Marquette. Scott said the Evans house is aiming to recruit more than 50 people and raise $15,000.

According to Scott, Evans house volunteers have been talking to fraternity presidents and ROTC commanders about recruiting members of their organizations to shave their heads.

Scott said the Evans Scholars are also hoping to attract interest from beyond Marquette. Currently, volunteers are reaching out to the Milwaukee Fire Department.

Danielle Scaccia, a sophomore in the College of Education and another organizer of Marquette’s Baldrick’s Day, said students don’t have to shave their heads to help the cause.

Scaccia said the Evans house is looking for volunteers to shave the heads of the participants, and simple cash donations will also be accepted.

In order to raise additional funds, Gray, the aforementioned student leprechaun, will be carrying around a pot of gold for donations in the weeks leading up to the event.

“Every donation helps, even if it’s pennies,” Gray said. “I feel it’s a really good foundation. I had cancer when I was young, so I know from personal experience how much Baldrick’s can help.”

Those interested in shaving their heads, volunteering at the event or donating to the cause can go to stbaldricks.org for more information.