Featured Participant: Reid Okoniewski

Q: What made you decide to go Bald for Bucks?

A: A lot of things contributed to how I started getting involved with Bald for Bucks. The main reason that inspired me to start doing it, and why I still do it to this day, is because of my late grandmother. She had cancer six times. She appreciated when I told her I was doing it, because she knew how hard I was working, not just to raise money for Roswell, but how hard I was working to spread awareness to everybody. She was such a warrior and that’s why she has inspired me to continue this for 10 years.


Q: What would you say to someone who is considering shaving their head or cutting their hair?

A: It’s a great way to get a haircut (haha)! All kidding aside, Bald for Bucks is such a great way to help promote awareness and the importance of further cancer research. You may not realize it, but you’re changing lives, and that’s great!


Q: What has this experience meant to you?

A: This experience has meant the world to me. What has motived me to do it for 10 years has been knowing that I’m making a difference, just by spreading the message. Knowing that I’m also raising money for an organization that is closest to me and has helped my family and friends is a wonderful feeling, because I know it’s being used to change the scope of cancer research.


Q: Tell us three fundraising tips that have worked for you.

A: Be creative – Whether you’re hosting an event, or trying to figure out ways to have a unique way of fundraising, get creative. No idea is stupid.


Offer Incentives to YOUR supporters – As a lot of Bald for Bucks participants know, we like to raise money so we get the cool prizes (hats for the bald head, tickets to a concert, etc.). As much as you like them, your supporters are more willing to contribute if there’s a chance they could also receive something. Consider doing a special drawing (every $10 donated = a chance to win a gift card) or create special tokens (cancer ribbons at your event for $1) to give to your supporters.

Never stop saying “thank you” – The moment you receive a donation, whenever you see someone that mentioned how great of a job you’re doing, whenever a local business decides to help you out, always say thank you. You can ask any of my family and friends, I’m always thanking them for their support. Now only does it help you reach your goal, but it’s also a way to stay connected with your supporters down the road. You can never say thank you enough.

Q: How has going Bald impacted you, your family and your friends?

A: Goin’ Bald for Bucks has greatly impacted my relationships with family, friends and colleagues. Everyone always looks forward to when I get my “spring haircut”. This all goes back to my motivation, my grandmother. It strengthens relationships and brings people closer together knowing that we’re all working together to fight cancer; whether it’s actually having the disease or being the moral support for a patient, we’re all fighting together. When my grandma died in 2015, there was a quote from Stuart Scott that really stood out, “you beat cancer by HOW you live, WHY you live, and in the manner in which you live”.