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 Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, WisconsinJanuary 23, 2009 Issue 

Catechist shaves head for cancer research

By Sam Lucero
Compass Staff

photo of Marie Steeber, religious education coordinator at Holy Cross Parish in Mishicot, getting her head shaved as a fund-raiser for St. Baldrick's Foundation
JUST A BIT OFF THE TOP: Marie Steeber, religious education coordinator at Holy Cross Parish in Mishicot, smiles as her hair is cut during a fund-raiser for St. Baldrick's Foundation. Steeber challenged children in the parish's religious education program to donate to St. Baldrick's and she promised to shave her head. The Advent community service project raised $757 for St. Baldrick's, which raises money to cure children's cancer. (Sam Lucero photo)

MISHICOT -- On a night when frigid temperatures forced most Wisconsin schools to cancel the following day's classes, Marie Steeber decided to shave her head. She even invited 75 of her closest friends to watch.

Steeber's hair-cutting exploit, held Jan. 14 at Holy Cross Religious Education Center, was the culmination of an Advent community service fund-raiser for St. Baldrick's Foundation. The foundation, named after a mythical mascot, raises funds to find cures for children's cancer. To date, more than $50 million has been raised.

During Advent, Steeber challenged religious education students at Holy Cross Parish, where she serves as religious education coordinator, to help her raise awareness and support for St. Baldrick's Foundation. To entice students and their families to make a pledge, she promised to shave her head. Students donating the most money would have the honors of cutting her hair.

Steeber, who is enrolled in the diocese's Commissioned Ministry Program, said she wanted to incorporate the fund-raiser into Commissioned Ministry's learning component. She began growing her hair one year ago in preparation for the event, with the intention of donating the sheered locks to another charitable cause, Locks of Love.

Going bald is becoming a family tradition. Last year, Steeber's brother, David Scheuer, shaved his head to benefit St. Baldrick's Foundation. Scheuer was on hand to help cut his sister's hair. Their mother, Mary Agnes Scheuer, who teaches second grade religious education at Holy Cross, also assisted, tying strands of Steeber's hair together for students to cut.

As Steeber took her seat on the stage in the education center's gymnasium, religious education students sat in chairs that were assembled in a semi-circle for the spectacle. As each strand of hair was clipped away, they cheered. Finally, after the ponytails were lopped off, Steeber's brother took the stage with his hair clippers and shaved off the remaining hair.

On one of the coldest nights of the year, Steeber walked off the stage with a hairless head and a cache of donations. Altogether, she raised $757 for St. Baldrick's Foundation.

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