YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – This week’s Hometown Hero wants to help kids fighting cancer. Eric Broz is being recognized for all his hard work with St. Baldrick’s.
Broz is the event organizer for the St. Baldrick’s head shaving event in Youngstown. The event raises thousands of dollars every year for childhood cancer research. Since 2005, the organization has raised over $200 million.
Broz didn’t bring St. Baldrick’s to Youngstown, though. That was Christian Rinehart, owner of O’Donold’s Irish Pub and Grille. But Eric was involved right away. In the first year, he was a volunteer coordinator but Rinehart saw a new future for him and put him in charge of the event.
“He would take down names of everyone that got their hair cut. In year two, I looked at him and said, ‘He, I think that’s your event now,’” Rinehart said. “He really cares about this event. He puts his heart and soul into it. He takes off work and doesn’t get paid for it – just does it out of pure passion.”
Broz took on the work gladly, and he does it all as a volunteer. But he does a lot more than just fundraise. He shaves his head every year.
“I start growing it out November 1, and I tell my friends if I make $1,000 in donations by March 1, my hair and my beard will green,” Broz said.
Just this year individually, Broz has raised about $1,500 dollars, so he did dye his hair green March 1 and then shaved it off on March 11.
Broz runs a blog called Drink Up Youngstown and has used those contacts to help the St. Baldrick’s event grow.
“I just want to thank him for all the hard work and making a big difference. I mean he’s raised close to $100,000 over the years for these kids,” Rinehart said.
But for Broz, it is more than just raising money. He wants people to help each other.
“We are a community. We have to help each other. We have to be here for one another. We have to help the people next door because no one else is going to do it. It depends on us,” Broz said.
The goal for this year was to raise $25,000. They are still collecting donations and tallying it up. We will have a total for you later this week.
If you want to donate, go to St. Baldrick’s.org.