Warthog rugby team hosts fourth annual Shave-a-Thon, raises money for cancer

To promote Relay for Life, the Geneseo men’s rugby team hosted a Shave-a-Thon on Friday April 7. Gathered in the MacVittie College Union, team members including freshman Yazen Alkuisi (pictured above) decided to shave their heads, showing solidarity with cancer patients. (Jenna Harbus/Staff Photographer)

If the large crowds in the lobby didn’t draw your curiosity to the MacVittie College Union on Friday April 7, perhaps the copious tufts of hair coating the floor did. The Geneseo Warthog rugby football club held their fourth annual Shave-a-Thon on Friday April 7 in the student union. 

Under the watchful eye of fellow teammates, friends and confused Starbucks patrons, the event was meant to excite participants for Relay for Life, which was held on Saturday April 8.

Everyone on the Warthog rugby team decided to shave their heads in solidarity for people who lose their hair from chemotherapy. The men of the team lined up in threes, and for a donation of $5 or more, anyone could shave their head with a provided electric razor. Many of these donations came from their friends, eager to be the ones who removed the men’s hair. 

The general atmosphere of the men waiting to go under the razor by the hands—and wallets—of overzealous friends was playfully mournful. Many had their own ways of dealing with their loss. 

There was scarcely an unshaven man without his hands somewhere near his head in the moments preparing for the shave. If they weren’t, friends ran their own hands through for one last time. Some members had even spent the last few months growing and grooming their facial hair specifically for the event, or had otherwise changed their hair knowing that it would be gone soon anyway.

“My dear friend dyed his hair for this event,” political science major sophomore Hannah Lowry said. “It’s a good cause.”

The real focus, however, was on the important matters that the event concerned. Cancer’s ability to ruin lives was the worst part at the end of the day—not the hair loss.

“It’s not easy having cancer, and everyone has experience with it,” geography major junior Joseph Goldbloom said. “They lose their hair, so why shouldn’t we?”

Goldbloom had more than just powerful words. He had a powerful voice that echoed across the Union as he begged passerby students to drop some money into the club’s collection box.

“Dollars, pennies, it doesn’t matter,” he said. Relay for Life’s spirit was just a little stronger thanks to the contributions of these men. 

“It’s a big rally thing,” childhood and special education major sophomore Colin Sugrue—who organized the event—said. “It’s a big community thing. It gets us all together. And a bunch of guys looking like thumbs is a good time.”