Teams compete for ‘top fundraiser’ spot in St. Baldrick’s head shaving event

Team Bald By Design hopes to beat Cirque du SoBald, last year’s top fundraiser

LAS VEGAS – A little healthy competition is always beneficial – especially when the end result is raising money for a good cause.

The cause: Money will be raised for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research, as part of its annual local signature head-shaving event (where volunteers shave their heads to stand in solidarity with the kids who typically lose their hair during cancer treatments). The head shaving event takes place at McMullan’s Irish Pub – located at 4650 W. Tropicana, just east of Decatur – on Saturday, March 5, at 6:15, 6:30 and 6:45. 

The challenge: To raise more money than last year’s top fundraiser: Cirque du Soleil’s team, Cirque du SoBald.

The challenger: Team Bald By Design. While the challenger is currently in first place with more than $17,000 raised, anything can happen. The team’s goal is $25,000.

Team Bald By Design was created this year by Windom Kimsey, principal at Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects, and other members of the Las Vegas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Kimsey’s daughter, Claire, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) five years ago at the age of 10.

Claire has had to endure a lot with her cancer treatment regimen over the years, missing a lot of school and precious time with her friends. After all of that, Claire says that she wouldn’t have wanted her life to be any different, and it is because of her fight against cancer that has made her who she is today.

While Claire, now a freshman in high school, has been in remission for more than four years now, raising money to benefit childhood cancer research is a cause still near and dear to the Kimsey family’s heart.

“We’re fortunate and thrilled that Claire has been in remission for four years and is doing so well. However, there are many, many more kids who aren’t as lucky, and it’s our goal to do what we can to continue the research that will one day ensure no child ever has to battle cancer,” Kimsey said.

Team Bald By Design has 12 members ready to shave their heads March 5 and boasts one female member, Kelly Lavigne of AIA Las Vegas, and even a 14-year-old, Nick, who is shaving his head for the third year in a row.

This year, Alex Raffi, creative director and partner with marketing firm Imagine Marketing (and a designer of a different kind), joined the team. Raffi has been shaving his head to benefit St. Baldrick’s for the past three years. Raffi has committed to writing the name of his top donor on his bald head for one day in appreciation.

Claire will attend the event again this year to support and cheer on all of the brave shavees.

Background on St. Baldrick’s
*Taken from
On March 17, 2000, reinsurance executives John Bender, Tim Kenny and Enda McDonnell turned their industry’s St. Patrick’s Day party into a head-shaving event to benefit kids with cancer. Their 20 “shavee” recruits planned to raise “$17,000 on the 17th.” Instead, they raised over $104,000.

The movement quickly grew into the world’s largest volunteer-driven fundraising program for childhood cancer research, and today the St. Baldrick’s Foundation funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government. Since 2000, more than 147,000 volunteers ‑ including over 12,000 women ‑ have shaved in solidarity with children with cancer at events in dozens of countries and every U.S. state. Thanks to generous friends and family, these shavees have raised more than $90 million for life-saving research, and each is a walking billboard for the cause.