Family matters: Vanessa O’Flynn and two of her children after she had her head shaved at BAA for St Baldrick’s. *Photo supplied
Reinsurance professional Vanessa O’Flynn has raised a staggering $75,000 plus for a children’s cancer charity after she had her long locks shaved off.
Ms O’Flynn, who works for Third Point Re, claimed the crown as the biggest single fundraiser for the annual St Baldrick’s Day event last Friday.
She said she stepped up to the barber’s chair after the son of a friend in the US was diagnosed with bone cancer just before he was due to start university.
Ms O’Flynn said: “It’s an amazing cause — I used to work at Allied World and the president of the US branch was one of the founders of St Baldrick’s.
“I’m the mother of three kids and I’ve been to hospitals in the US and seen sick children with cancer — it’s the most awful thing and you just want to take their pain away.”
Ms O’Flynn had her hair reduced to stubble at the Bermuda Athletic Association (BAA) event on Friday, together with husband Stephen, in his fifth year of the event, and her son Ty, 8, a pupil at Warwick Academy.
Ms O’Flynn, 37, of Paget, said: “I’ve been in the reinsurance industry for 15 years now and you meet a lot of people. If you’re nice and good at your job, they tend to be very nice to you. If you reach out to your contracts, they will help.”
Ms O’Flynn raised a grand total of $55,841 on her own — but Third Point Re is set to chip in with a corporate donation to boost the total to $75,841 — equivalent to a brand-new BMW 1 Series car, with change.
But said: “I’m really proud I just got to participate — and I’m glad to have raised so much money.”
The news came as St Baldrick’s Day organiser Kate Daly revealed that the BAA event is set to come close to raising $300,000 for St Baldrick’s.
Around 50 people had their heads shaved at the BAA as part of the fundraiser for the US-founded St Baldrick’s Foundation, which has raised a total of more than $100 million for children’s cancer research since it was founded 12 years ago.