Middlesex Middle School sixth grader Ethan Lublin has been the top fundraiser for the last two years Darien firefighters have been holding a St. Baldrick’s event. And just because the group event has been canceled this year due to the coronavirus, he wasn’t about to let his record slide.

For the third time, Ethan raised money for children’s cancer research — but this time, he shaved his head virtually via Zoom. Ethan raised $6,617 during his Zoom event. He told The Darien Times about 60 to 70 virtually attended his Zoom event.

St. Baldrick’s, a fund-raiser for children’s cancer research, offers participants the opportunity to shave their heads in exchange for donations.

Donations can still be made online through Ethan’s page at: stbaldricks.org/participants/ethanlublin2020

Two years ago, Ethan raised over $13,000. Last year, he raised over $10,000.

Event canceled

Darien Fire Department Vice President Shane Smith first began participating in a St. Baldrick’s event in Stamford at Bradford’s in 2007. Then in 2008 and 2009, his fellow Darien firefighters began participating with him.

Eventually, the event was moved to the Darien Fire Department for their own event in 2013, which evolved into all three fire departments joining the effort following.

In the first year, 27 shaved their head and raised $10,637. In just four year years, in 2017, 73 shaved their head and raised nearly 10 times for a total of $93,994. Last year, the Darien firefighters’ event raised over $38,000.

Smith had originally scheduled the community event for Saturday, April 17, but once Darien and the rest of the area had to shut down to slow the pandemic, he said he couldn’t hold the event safely given the close proximity participants would be with one another.

“I just think it is great that he’s participating at home,” Smith said Friday.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-powered charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

The foundation funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government. St. Baldrick’s events are the largest volunteer-powered fund-raising opportunity benefiting pediatric cancer research.

The name “St. Baldrick’s” is a combination of the words “bald” and “St. Patrick’s,” since the first event was held in 2000 on March 17, which is St. Patrick’s Day.

Donations can be made online through Ethans page at: stbaldricks.org/participants/ethanlublin2020

More info on St. Baldrick’s can be found at stbaldricks.org.