Talia’s Just One Reason to Support Shamrock Shave
Talia and her father Greg Freund of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Algonquin pose for a photo. Talia, 14, has shed her own locks for the parish’s annual Shamrock Shave. Now she is fighting cancer herself. (Photo provided)
March 2, 2017

ALGONQUIN—While the official challenge for this year’s Shamrock Shave at St. Margaret Mary Parish, here, may be “cops versus firemen,” there is another reason to support the annual effort, March 11.

Parishioner and former “shavee” Talia Freund, 14, is among those fighting cancer this year.

Talia was diagnosed with Metastatic Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer on July 19, 2016. She and her family were ready for nine to 12 months of chemo and radiation therapy.

Everything seemed to be going well until January, when Talia again felt pain, but in a different place.

The cancer had returned and spread. The still-cheerful young lady can no longer be helped by therapy.

“We are not giving up,” says  her father, Greg Freund, who has helped with publicity for the Shamrock Shave. Among the dozens who have volunteered to be shaved again this year, he’s “playing” for Team Talia.

Founded in 2008, the Shamrock Shave Charity benefit has quickly grown to become a major area fundraising event.

Organizers estimate that more than 60 men, women and children — including members of the Algonquin Police Department and Algonquin-LITH Fire Department — will shave their heads to raise money for community families in need and for cancer research.

Five years ago, the fire department formed a “Charity Challenge Team” for the shave. Not to be outdone, the police joined in the fun last year and the results have been dramatic.

Last year’s Shamrock Shave raised more than $28,000 and helped put the total raised since 2008 beyond $300,000. This year, event organizers hope for even more success.

“The Shamrock Shave is an awesome and inspiring event that brings the entire community together,” says Janna Burck, event chairperson. “This year our heroes in the police and fire department will be there with us to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, while also raising money for two great causes. We hope to raise even more money for charity, shave more heads, and have even more ‘Irish’ family fun.”

The Shamrock Shave combines fun, food, entertainment, and head shaving in an effort to raise money for two very worthwhile causes. All event proceeds will be donated to the St. Vincent DePaul Society, to support community families in need, and to the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation.

The event starts with a traditional Irish dinner of corned beef and cabbage at 5:30 PM in St. Margaret Mary’s School Gymnasium and Cafeteria, with all dinner proceeds also being donated to charity. The “Mane” festivities begin at 6:45 PM with head shavings staggered throughout the evening. Stylists from local hair salons have volunteered their time, and other local businesses are sponsoring the event with food and monetary donations.

Between the head shavings, and back by popular demand, Mayer School of Irish Dance will be performing. A fun-filled family event, there will also be a Jig Contest, a “Best Irish Costume” contest, kid’s activities, door prizes, and raffles all in a fun St. Patrick’s Day party atmosphere.

Admission is $2.00 at the door for adults and $1.00 for children, and at no charge with a meal purchase. The St. Margaret Mary Education Center is at the corner of Eastgate and Algonquin Road in Algonquin. For more information, visit us online at www.saintmargaretmary.org/shave.

Please join us in supporting this vibrant young lady and her family as she has been diagnosed with Metastatic Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Talia and her family were given this diagnosis on July 19, 2016, just before her 14th birthday. The family prepared for 9-12 months of aggressive chemo and radiation – a battle to be sure but one she & her family were ready to take on with a little help.