Alpha Phi Omega raises money for childhood cancer through St. Baldrick’s Foundation

Veronica Baas

In a show of solidarity for children with cancer, students shaved their heads on campus Friday, raising an estimated $4,400 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

Kate Douglas, president of Alpha Phi Omega (APO), brought a St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraiser to Colorado State University last year.


“About a year and a half ago I got an idea to host an event here on campus,” Douglas said. “Some friends back in New Mexico have hosted one like it every year, and I just thought it would be a really good thing to bring to CSU.”

Prior to the event, a total of $2,356 were raised in donations. An estimated total of $2,000 were raised the day of the fundraiser, according to Douglas. The group had a goal to raise $5000.

“Our organization is based off of service and donating, so this is a great cause for us to really be involved in and for all of our members to be a part of,” said Clare Keating, fundraising co-chair for APO.

Members of APO stood under the Clark building collecting donations while barbers shaved heads during the second St. Baldrick’s fundraiser that APO has hosted at CSU.

Vice President of Service for APO Ashley Todd said she believes this cause deserves more attention.

“Every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer,” Todd said. “So just being here for three minutes somebody has it. After shaving someone’s head two people have been diagnosed.”

At the event, two cancer patients were honored. Esther Alvarado, age six, and Seth, age 26, have each been battling cancer for 10 years.

Esther was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2012, a tumor cancer that develops in nerve tissue.

Esther’s mother, Samantha Alvarado, said the fundraiser is a good way to empathize with people.

“I think it’s a fun way to make a bold statement about an aspect of cancer that is not very well funded and well known about,” Alvarado said.


The money raised at St. Baldrick’s events contributes to childhood cancer research.

“Part of her (Esther’s) therapy was research-based,” Alvarado said. “It is some of the research that came out of St. Baldrick’s, and so we’re really excited to participate in that and see it.”

Esther took part in an immunotherapy study that gives children with her diagnosis a 25 percent or higher survival rate.

“Before, her specific diagnoses would have been (a) 10 to 20 percent survival rate,” Alvarado said. “But now it’s 40 to 60, so that’s really awesome.”

Collegian Reporter Veronica Baas can be reached at or on Twitter @vcbaas.