TZE Contractor Supply hosts its grand opening with St. Baldrick’s Foundation for childhood cancer research.
BY: ALYSSA SAMSON
When Massachusetts-based TZE Contractor Supply celebrated its grand opening on June 7, it wanted to make the occasion more than just about the company. In fact, in conjunction with the grand opening of TZE Contractor Supply moving from Wilmington, Mass. to North Reading at the end of December last year, the company teamed up with St. Baldrick’s Foundation in support of raising funds for childhood cancer research. But unlike most charity events, this one had a bit of a twist.
TZE Contractor Supply and St. Baldrick’s Foundation invited men and women of all ages to help raise money for childhood cancer research by shaving their heads.
“We had 17 people who had their heads shaved, one of them being a woman, to show support of fighting childhood cancer,” says Randi DeLoreto, director of operations at TZE Contractor Supply.
According to the foundation, every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer, and one in five children are not expected to survive after diagnosis.
“The goal was to show how childhood cancer often gets thrown on the backburner as far as funding goes,” DeLoreto says. “It only gets about 4% government funding, so they really need more money to do the research, answer the questions and get rid of it once and for all.”
The idea came about when DeLoreto’s friend, who happened to be a hairdresser, could no longer host the head-shaving event that she had been doing for years. The illness hit home for the company, since the owners know people who battled childhood cancer, so DeLoreto was more than happy to take on the responsibility. After some thought, it only made sense to hold the event in conjunction with the company’s grand opening. While TZE Contractor Supply had been open for nearly six months, it welcomed an opportunity to host an event that not only supported a great cause, but also brought publicity to the new location.
During the occasion, TZE Contractor Supply raffled off prizes—including a brand new Ferris lawn mower—and provided food and entertainment. At one point, two guest speakers spoke about their personal struggles with childhood cancer.
“We had an 11-year-old boy from Pepperell who had cancer speak at the event,” DeLoreto explains. “He is now in remission, but he came and spoke to everyone about the difficulties of fighting childhood cancer.”
The cause also resonated with a 38-year-old man who was diagnosed with Lymphoma when he was 15-years-old. He could not be there for the event, but he wrote out a speech that was presented to everyone, explaining the challenges he endured and the need for proper funding.
This being the first time the event was hosted by TZE Contractor Supply, DeLoreto spent a great deal of time promoting the cause through Facebook, email, fliers and the local newspaper. She, along with family and friends, worked with St. Baldrick’s to become appointees and representatives for the cause.
On the other hand, one of the challenges she still endured was the proper exposure. “It’s always hard to get people to drop what they’re doing and come for an event —especially in the summer time,” she adds.
The goal was to have participants register online to raise money towards a certain donation amount. Once the goal was reached, the person would commit to shaving his/her head. When the day arrived for the head-shaving, although there were a handful of people who went through the registration process, a majority of the participants were walk-ins. Regardless, DeLoreto says that because the event supported childhood cancer funding, along with giving the company exposure towards its new location, it was a success.
TZE Contractor Supply fully intends on doing the event again next year—hoping to get more than 50 participants—DeLoreto tells other companies looking to host a similar charity that they should definitely start as soon as possible. “The sooner you can start planning, the better,” she says. “It’s never too early to begin the process and get your name out there, especially if it’s for a good cause.”