Meet Shaker Junior High School 7th grade student, Jeremy Wernick, “North Colonie Kids Care” November 2015 feature.
Jeremy Wernick is walking the halls of Shaker Junior High School newly bald; he recently shaved his head for the fifth time, a tradition that began in October, 2011. That’s when he first became involved with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which organizes fundraising events around the world in which people shave their heads in solidarity with kids fighting cancer.
Since 2000, St. Baldrick’s has had more than 390,000 people participate, one of them, being Jeremy. But what makes him different, is there is no specific event. Jeremy just spreads the word about his annual shave, and goes to a local salon every October to get it done. In 2015 alone, he has raised $2,731, bringing his cumulative five-year total to $8,634. To help his fundraising efforts, each year Jeremy asks for donations instead of birthday gifts.
“Kids always ask me what happened to my hair,” said Jeremy. “I think to myself, I raised that much money, just by shaving my head!”
But his efforts don’t stop there. Jeremy says after shaving his head, he realized how cold it can be. He started to think how cold kids who are going through chemotherapy must get when their hair falls out. That’s when “Hatsgiving” started.
Since the fall of 2013, Jeremy has collected and donated more than 1,400 hats to pediatric cancer patients at Albany Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital. His collection will begin again this November and run through Thanksgiving. Additional hats will be donated to a pediatric cancer treatment center in Rochester, N.Y.
Jeremy has received donations from the NY Jets, NY Giants, and the Boston Red Sox, and intends on continuing this for years to come.
“I don’t need all the recognition in the world for this,” he said. “I’m doing this to do it. It’s the satisfaction of knowing I’m making an impact on all of these kids’ lives.”