Virtual charity event beats fundraising goal

By Leah Boyd, The Chronicle

Despite having to be enjoyed virtually this year, the fifth annual Shave and Buzz event at Duke University went off without a hitch and the brothers even surpassed their fundraising goals.

The annual charity event held by Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity—formerly called Shave for Schreiber, Buzz for Bobby—honors brothers Bobby Menges and Mark Schreiber. Menges died from cancer September 2017. Schreiber, Trinity ’19, is in remission from Central Nervous System germinoma, which he was diagnosed with January 2016.

Normally, the event is held on Duke campus, having taken place in the Bryan Center Landing the last two years. The brothers bring in barbers from around Durham to cut participants’ hair; there is also usually food and a silent auction.

This year, Pike’s philanthropy chair Wyatt Bui, a sophomore, told The Chronicle that he asked the brothers if they would be willing to shave at home. He received overwhelmingly positive responses and decided to let each brother raise his own money for the event through social media “challenges.”

“So, I’d say something like ‘if I raise 200 bucks, I’ll shave a crazy design into my hair’ or ‘if I raise 300, I’ll do something else,’ and we were able to raise that money,” Bui said. 

He added that additional donations were also received through their GoFundMe, which has racked up over $47,000 since February.

The brothers filmed themselves shaving or cutting their hair at home Mar. 21, many posting their experiences using the livestream feature on Instagram and Facebook, wrote junior Eduardo Palmier Nunes, a fellow Pike brother, in an email.

Despite the circumstances, Bui said that Pike raised $72,606 this year, crushing their original goal of $60,000.

Nunes wrote that Shave and Buzz is “by far the most important day of the year for our fraternity.”

“I think this goes to show the power of this event and of the Duke community that continues to support our efforts year after year,” Nunes wrote. “While running the event remotely was an interesting experience, I look forward to having our University fully operational and being able to have the event on campus once again.”

He added that it’s been “especially exciting to see how more members of the Duke community are getting involved” as the event grows each year.

Bui said that he found it admirable that many brothers shave their heads without having ever met Menges or Schreiber.

“Realizing just how great this event is—the tangible good that goes into it, the energy that comes with it—even when it’s virtual, was just awesome and always has been,” Bui said.