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Sister, Wife of Surfer Killed Keep His Memory Alive Through Cancer Benefit

By Linze Rice | March 8, 2016 5:40am
 Participants shave their heads during a Jarvis Square St. Baldrick's event.
Participants shave their heads during a Jarvis Square St. Baldrick's event.
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Sam Hamilton

EDGEWATER — When Amy Kelly told herself in 2012 she would raise $10,000 for her late brother's favorite charity — the St. Baldrick's Foundation — she had no clue that, in just four years, number would grow to $129,000.

"I know that's because my brother is watching over us," Kelly said of her surfer brother Sean, a Chicago area native who died in 2010 when his small plane crashed into the ocean. "I'm going to ride his wave as long as he'll let me."

This year, Kelly is keeping the tradition going with a St. Baldrick's head-shaving event from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at Bar 63, 6341 N. Broadway, which will allow people to participate in donating locks, money, or just their time and support. Snacks, drinks and dancing will all be on hand.

The event was organized in memory of Sean Kelly, pictured here, a staunch supporter of St. Baldrick's who died in 2010 in a plane crash. [Provided]

Kelly said she took up the St. Baldrick's cause as a way to channel the grief she felt over her brother's loss into something positive. Before he died, he once told his wife he wanted to participate in the event each year, Kelly said.

Since 2012, Team Sean Kelly has shaved more than 133 heads, including teachers supporting their students, and classmates honoring young friends they'd lost to cancer.

Last year, Kelly's team raised $43,739 and sponsored 57 shaving participants.

So far, the team is over halfway of their $40,000 goal for 2016 with just over $22,100.

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