Shaving for charity

Betty Burns

Photo By Allie Colosky

Betty Burns describes herself as a risk-taker. And she would have to be considering she’s taking on the St. Baldrick’s challenge. The local pastry connoisseur and founder of Chico’s Rogue Theatre has taken up arms in the fight against childhood cancer. Burns recently began raising money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation with a goal of $3,000, and she’s just about halfway there. The challenge of St. Baldrick’s includes shaving the heads of participants in solidarity with kids with cancer, and in an effort to raise money to find cures. On July 1, Burns will face the shears herself and is planning a thank-you party for all her donors. For more information on St. Baldrick’s or if you are interested in donating, visit and search for Betty Burns.

How did you get the idea to fundraise for St. Baldrick’s?

It started out as a joke on Facebook back in February. I made a crack about wanting to shave my head, and my friend sent me a link saying, “If you’re going to do it, do it for a good reason.” So I checked it out and I thought about it. I realized it is just hair, and it’s a really good cause.

What are people’s reactions when they hear you are going to shave your head?

People were pretty surprised. It’s not as shocking when a man shaves his head, but when a woman shaves her head it’s surprising. My mother was not as happy that I was shaving my head, but I’m determined. It is just hair, and it draws attention to the cause of research for childhood cancer.

What has made you so determined to help this cause?

Something about this cause really struck home with me. Not a lot of people I know have made it this far in life without being affected by cancer. I lost my father, my grandmother and my aunt to various forms of cancer. To think that there are little kids who have to deal with what I’ve seen my family go through, I can’t even put that feeling into words.

ow do you plan to reach your goal by July 1?

I’m not asking people to give a lot. Don’t give until it hurts; give until it feels good. If every person who reads the Chico News & Review gave $1, I would meet and surpass my goal. I set my goal at $3,000 and gave myself a good chunk of time to reach that goal. I put the information out on Facebook and there are a few small events here and there throughout June. On June 23, I will put on a small variety show at Bustolini’s.