SUNY Maritime students raise $5,500 for cancer research

(THROGGS NECK, N.Y.) — Research for finding cures to childhood cancers got a little help from SUNY Maritime College students last week.

A group of students raised more than $5,500 for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a charity that funds childhood cancer research.

One evening last week, more than 20 young men lined up in the barbershop to shave their heads. Since during their first year at the college, all male members of the regiment of cadets, called midshipmen under guidance, have to shave their heads, event organizer James Keegan said.

“We figured the MUGs would donate to shave the heads of the upperclassmen because they’re allowed to have hair,” said Keegan, a senior marine environmental science major from Centerport, N.Y. “We also let the MUGs grow their hair so they could participate as well.”

More than 125 people donated to support the men who shaved their heads.

Student leaders in each dormitory have to host one charity event a year. This is the first time at group chose St. Baldrick’s. In past years, groups have raised money for Habitat for Humanity or the no-kill animal shelter in the Bronx, among others.

“It’s great we’re studying and learning about shipping, but it’s also important that the campus feels like home as well,” Keegan said. “The purpose of all the residential programming is to build up student life on campus. Charitable giving is instilling a sense of giving in a community to support a cause."

SUNY Maritime students may choose to join the regiment of cadets, which gives them the chance to earn the Coast Guard licenses that are necessary to work on board a ship or other offshore vessel.

“It was a great event. We’re definitely going to try to do it again. There were smiles all around,” Keegan said. “We all know somebody who had cancer, so it’s an organization everybody can get behind.”

By Professional Mariner Staff