CSS student has made a tradition of having head shaved for charity
Nine-year-old Trent Taylor, a fourth grader at Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School, has his head shaved Monday during the St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraiser for childhood cancer research. One of the youngest and among the top fundraisers in the Lenoir County event, Trent has participated for four of the last five years, moved to help by the death of the infant son of a family friend.
For one fourth-grade student at Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School, raising money to combat childhood cancer was a hair-razing experience.
Trent Taylor, 9, has participated in Kinston’s St. Baldrick’s Foundation charity event for four of the last five years. The foundation is dedicated to raising funds to support childhood cancer research. At the conclusion of each year’s annual fundraiser, participants volunteer to have their heads shaved. Taylor collected donations and was one of the youngest heroes to have his head shaved at the concluding event, which took place Monday afternoon at East Coast Wings in Kinston.
Taylor said he was moved to participate beginning five years ago when he was in kindergarten after learning that Noah Stroud, the infant son of a family friend, had brain cancer. Noah, known affectionately to friends and family as “Superman,” died in February 2014 at just 15 months of age.
That first year wasn’t easy for Taylor. Even as a kindergarten student, he wanted to do something to help so other children wouldn’t have to endure cancer as his friend had. Yet, some of his classmates weren’t privy to the reason their friend showed up to school the next day with no hair.
“Some of the kids were picking on me because I cut off all my hair,” Taylor said. “I didn’t do it in first grade, but I’ve done it every year since then. I thought to myself that I was doing it for someone I have known since he was born. I wasn’t going to let someone else’s actions affect me.”
Those same classmates, now four years older, are much more supportive these days.
“They say, ‘Yeah, I understand now,’” Taylor said. “I don’t just shave my head to be shaving it. I do it for a cause, for somebody I know.”
His teacher, April Modlin, said her whole class has been supportive of his dedication to a charitable cause.
“We are proud of Trent for showing off his shaved head in order to teach others about the spirit of giving,” she said.
Taylor said he got a lot of attention as one of the youngest participants at the annual charity event on Monday.
“People were coming up to me, strangers that I didn’t even know, and they were telling me ‘good job’ and how they were proud of me for doing it,” Taylor said.
His family and his teachers are also proud of him.
“I love it,” his mother, Kimberly Taylor, said. “He does it every year. He’ll come to me and ask if it’s time. He went back to school that first year, and everyone was joking, but he told them he was doing it for Super Noah.”
Last year, Trent was the top fund-raiser in Lenoir County. While he didn’t quite match that mark this year, he has no plans to stop anytime soon.
“When it’s March, I know it’s time to do St. Baldrick’s,” he said. “I’ve done it four years now. I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.”