PUEBLO – A fundraiser was held Saturday night in Pueblo raising money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and childhood cancer research.
Instead of the head-shaving event St. Baldrick’s is famous for, people gathered in a low-key setting to have a conversation about childhood cancer and raise money for the cause.
Deputy Brad Riccillo has been raising money for St. Baldrick’s for six years. He is the captain for “Team PCSO,” made up of Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies.
The officer’s goal this year is to raise over $20,000. Last year the goal was $9,999 and they were able to raise $17,000 with the help of everyone’s donations.
“I wanna beat it, I had to think of something rather than just sell candy bars and t-shirts, I had to think outside the box,” Riccillo said.
So, he organized the first annual cocktail mixer at the Clink Lounge, with all proceeds going to the team. Riccillo wanted to raise money but also encourage people to talk about why they are raising money in the first place.
“Childhood cancer is a very uncomfortable topic and not a lot of people want to sit down and talk about it,” Riccillo said.
Jack Pendelton joined the conversation and also did his part by buying a drink.
“The drink was a little expensive and I thought, ‘wow I don’t know about this,’ but then I found out that the proceeds from the drink go to the foundation so that’s great by me,” Pendelton said.
He has been supporting the cause for three years now, with seven great-grandchildren of his own.
“Children are so innocent and so sweet and it’s a shame that they have to face some of the diseases and stuff that we have,” Pendelton said.
Community members proved their support not just with cash donations, but with their presence.
“It’s not just making a donation, it’s making a difference,” Riccillo said.
The main event where volunteers will get their heads shaved is happening Saturday, March 16th at Jimmy’s Tavern in Pueblo West.