Money raised, hair razed for childhood cancer fight – Aurora Beacon News
By Denise Crosby
March 16, 2014 8:08PM
Aurora, 03/16/14–Felicia Allen gets a kiss from her friend and hair stylist Sandy Chapman, Yorkville, after getting all of her hair cut off for charity. Felicia Allen got her head shaved at Ballydoyle Irish Pub Sunday after she raised over $12,000 for St. Baldrick’s to raise money for childhood cancer research. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 17, 2014 2:17AM
You could say Felicia Allen performed head and shoulders above her goal.
When the 28-year-old nurse’s aide from Yorkville decided to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation by volunteering to shave off her long, beautiful hair, she picked a number that would be significant but attainable.
Five hundred dollars.
But those who know Allen say her compassion and drive don’t allow her to do things in small ways.
By Friday afternoon, a couple days before the hair-shaving fundraiser held Sunday at Ballydoyle Irish Pub & Restaurant in downtown Aurora, Allen already had raised more than $11,100, a couple thousand more than even the team of Aurora firefighters, who also did a mighty commendable job of raising money for childhood cancer.
“I always figure if you are going to do something, then make it worth your while,” said Allen, who works at Hillside Rehabilitation and Care Center in Yorkville.
Allen made the decision to get involved in this hair-shaving event back in the fall, not long after her Uncle Tom Allen — “the man who will walk me down the aisle” — was diagnosed with lung and vocal cord cancer.
“He is the toughest man I know,” she wrote on her St. Baldrick’s Web page. “And it kills me to know he is going through so much.”
Allen said she went “all out” on this mission because she did not want her uncle to “feel like he is going through this alone.” And the fact the money goes to childhood cancers only makes the goal that much more important, she added.
A former co-worker, Sharon Beverage, describes Allen as “very unselfish and loving” toward everyone she meets.
“She is just amazing all the way around,” said the Sandwich nurse.
Allen said she raised the money by taking advantage of social media but also by working it the old-fashioned way — by holding fundraisers, as well as hitting the pavement and soliciting donations.
“I guess I just had a story to tell, and I was very passionate,” she said.
Almost all of the money she raised has come from donations of $25 or less, she said. Her biggest donation — $1,000 — came the week before the Ballydoyle event, which was a bonus in more ways than one.
“I was nervous about shaving my head before,” said Allen, who admits she’s not had a real hair cut since high school. “But when that big check came in, my nerves were gone. Now I’m really excited.”
Allen plans to go au naturel after the hair comes off. “Why shave your head, then wear a wig?” she asked. “It defeats the purpose.”
She does plan to add one item to the top of her head, however. She will get a green-ribbon tattoo to signify the cancer fight, along with her uncle’s initials.
“He’s so proud,” she said of Uncle Tom, who is “doing awesome” after finishing chemo and radiation.
No doubt. And no wonder her friend Sharon Beverage believes Felicia’s own story needs to be told.
“She is a blessing to all who know her.”