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Mar 21 2012

NYIT's Team NYCOM Raises $20,000 for Pediatric Cancer Research

NYCOM Team for St. Baldrick's Fundraiser

Old Westbury, N.Y.  (March 21, 2012)  ΜΆ  NYIT medical students, faculty, and staff raised more than $20,000 last weekend as they shaved their heads in support of a St. Baldrick’s fundraiser for pediatric cancer research.

View the photo gallery.

The 39-member team from NYIT’s New York College of Osteopathic Medicine donned green capes and lined up outside the Downtown Café in Glen Cove to undergo a quick shave of their heads. Eight female students had 10 inches of hair cut to make wigs for children with cancer.  An additional 16 volunteers contributed to the fundraiser. Second-year student Gebe George organized the event both last year and this year, and happily watched the team's website mark the growing donations that exceeded his original goal of $10,000.  NYCOM’s Pediatrics Club served as the main sponsor, and several student organizations sold T-shirts, held bake sales and put on a cultural show to help raise money.

"It's a bit of a shock when you first rub your hands over your bald head, but it's encouraging when you see dozens of other people braving the shave with you," said Nicholas Reis, who raised $1,345 of the $20,272 total.

Several of Reis' family members and friends were affected by cancer, motivating him to send mass emails and make phone calls to solicit donations.Support sign for cancer patient

"If by shaving my head and raising money I can give just one kid a second shot at living a healthy, happy life and the ability to pursue his dreams, I see no reason not to do it," said Reis.

The top fundraiser was Anthony Guerne, a technician in the Institute for Clinical Competence who raised $1,685. Guerne said his best friend's mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. He drew his inspiration from her to use Facebook and Twitter to raise funds.  As his head, long-time mustache, and goatee were shaved, Guerne held a sign with her name and the names of others who were honored with donations.

Several students said they grew closer through their participation in the event.

"Every time I see one of their bald heads/shorter hair around campus, I just have to stop and say hello," George said.  "It's be like being part of a fraternity of some sort."

About NYIT

New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.
 
Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, 89,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit nyit.edu.
 
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