3rd Annual Elk Grove St. Baldrick’s Shave Event

The 3rd Annual Elk Grove St. Baldrick’s Shave Event will be held Wednesday, March 16th at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Elk Grove.  This event was established to continue Lauren’s mission to spread awareness of childhood cancer and raise funds for research.  (Did you know that of all the money the federal government spends on cancer research, only 4% is spent on pediatric cancer research?)

The shaving will be held from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  In addition, BJ’s Restaurant will donate 20% of your food and soft beverage sales on that day from 11:00 am until 9:00 pm.  Just bring in the attached flyer (below) when you come to enjoy a fabulous meal and maybe discuss what Lauren would have ordered and how much she loved food!  You can also pick up a donation flyer at the event site before entering the restaurant.  Even though the flyer shows a 15% donation, BJ’s informed us they will now donate 20%.  Let’s all show our support of their generosity and enjoy a great meal at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse that day!

There is a wonderful Team LaurenStrong web page that has details regarding this year’s event and also pictures from the previous two events.  It lists a few of the raffle prizes that will be available that day at the event site.  Stop by and purchase some raffle tickets between 11:00 am and 7:30 pm and you may be the lucky winner of one of the wonderful gifts.  We have $250 in Target Gift Cards, an In-Touch Massage Gift Certificate, Liquor (must be 21!), pottery from local artist Jeff Morse, and many other fabulous items.  In addition, we have a separate raffle for the Shavees.  One of our lucky Shavees will be the winner of two tickets to a Sacramento Republic FC game.  All Shavees who raise at least $50 will be entered to win.  http://www.teamlaurenstrong.com/

If you would like to continue Lauren’s mission to spread awareness of childhood cancer and raise much needed money for funding research, please consider joining Team LaurenStrong and being one of the Shavees. If you have long hair, you can simply cut your hair if you don’t want to shave it, and have the lengths donated to a charity that creates wigs for children with cancer.  http://www.stbaldricks.org/teams/mypage/104496/2016

For all of Lauren’s supporters who do not live near Elk Grove, you can be a “Virtual Shavee” and shave at home.  You can sign up for the event and raise money towards the cause, then shave at home and post your shave to Facebook or any other social media site.  Everyone who followed Lauren can help keep her message going!

This year, we are honoring Eden Finn, whom Lauren met while being treated for cancer the first time.  Eden was like the little sister Lauren never had.  Eden was diagnosed with ALL, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a month after Lauren’s initial diagnosis in 2011.  Eden was fortunate to find a bone marrow match (from Germany!) and the bone marrow transplant took place March 16, 2012.  That’s right.  Our Elk Grove Shave Event is Eden’s 4 year birthday of her bone marrow transplant!

Eden feels Lauren’s guidance around her constantly.  In fact, she went to an oncology camp in Montana last summer and enjoyed a fun horseback ride. She was awe-struck to find out that her horse’s name was “McCullough.”  Yes, Lauren is always with Eden looking after her.  Eden will graduate high school this May and is looking to go into the oncology field so she can help other children who have been diagnosed with cancer.

One of this year’s Shavees is Nick.  Lauren met Nick during her second treatment for cancer.  Nick had been diagnosed with Osteosarcoma and endured months of chemotherapy and extensive surgery on his leg.  Nick completed his treatment in the summer of 2014.  His hair grew back and he re-established a “normal” life.  Nick graduated high school last year.  Although Nick lost his hair to his cancer treatment, he is now voluntarily shaving his hair for the Elk Grove St. Baldrick’s Shave Event.  Nick is truly a hero!  Will you be a hero to other kids going through cancer treatment and sign up to be a Shavee?

Lauren’s brother, Mark, and dad, John, will be Shavees once again.  Please join them as they continue Lauren’s message and help children fighting cancer, and those not yet diagnosed.  We HAVE to find a cure for every child!

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse

9237 Laguna Springs Drive (off Laguna Blvd.)

Elk Grove, CA 95758



Look for us on Good Day Sacramento (Channel 31) Monday morning, March 14th.  We will be doing a live shave of one of the teachers at Laguna Creek High School, who is a Shavee for the 8th time.  We expect to be on the air during the 8:00 am hour.


Lauren is Inducted into the Diablo Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame

Lauren CollageLauren HOF PlaqueLauren HOF Yearbook Page

Lauren was honored by her college, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA, by being inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame on February 18, 2016.  The MC of the event was Steve Ward, head coach of the Men’s Baseball Team.  Many of Lauren’s family, co-op family, and friends were in attendance to show support for Lauren.  Beth Ruyak, who gave Lauren an opportunity to get her message out during two of her Insight radio broadcasts at Capital Public Radio, was in attendance also.  She was at the Sochi Winter Olympics when Lauren’s Celebration of Life was held, so she felt compelled to be at the ceremony to show her support of Lauren.  You could feel the love in the room.

Steve introduced Lauren with the following speech:

“I am not sure that our HOF has any members as inspirational, courageous, gracious and humble as Lauren. She attended the very first DVC Hall of Fame induction in 2006 as an 8th grader with her dad, John, who was an All-American swimmer on the 1973 State Champion swim team.  Attending high school in Elk Grove, she earned varsity letters in four different sports. Then… just after she graduated she was diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer, Ewing Sarcoma, in one of her quadriceps. After nine months of non-stop chemo she was told her cancer was in remission. She enrolled at DVC in the Fall of 2012 and in the Spring 2013 term joined the DVC swim team. She finished 2nd in the 50 Back and 3rd in the 100 Back at the Big 8 Conference Championships. Her times were good enough to qualify in three events at the State Championship Meet the following week in L.A. On the first day she swam the 50 Free, but complained after the race that her side hurt and that she could hardly breathe. She was in the emergency room the next day and had fluid on her lungs, which kept her out the remainder of the State meet. Soon after, Lauren learned her cancer had returned. She still attended the end of the season swimming awards dinner and found out her 50 Back time had earned All-American status.

In her last nine months she started a blog called, “Thenotdyinggirl” and her story was covered extensively by Sacramento area media. She gave anti-bullying rallies, got married, tirelessly spread the word about pediatric cancers, and was the honorary captain of the DVC Lacrosse team, who in November of 2013 held an American Cancer Benefit in her honor…In life, according to her father, she exhibited strength, humility, and a positive attitude right up until she died February 2, 2014 at the age of 21.

DVC now has the privilege to induct her for eternity into the DVC Athletic Hall of Fame…Lauren McCullough.”

Lauren’s mom then spoke about her achievements in high school swim, her positive outlook during her cancer treatment, and how her spot on the DVC swim team remaining open for her until she was able to join the team kept her motivated during her year of chemo and many hospitalizations.  The coaches of the swim team treated her like she was a competitor, and not an “honorary” member of the team.  That pushed Lauren to achieve so much during that season.  She came incredibly close to achieving her pre-cancer personal best swim times.  Like every girl, Lauren looked up to her dad.  Lauren became an All-American swimmer, just like dad; swam at the State Championship Swim Meet, just like dad; and was now in the DVC Athletic Hall of Fame, just like dad.

Lauren’s dad then spoke about how DVC has been so supportive of Lauren, both during her recurrence of cancer and after she has passed away.  He thanked the school for supporting her and continuing to keep her message of childhood cancer awareness out in the public.  The DVC Lacrosse team continues to hold American Cancer Society benefit games every November to raise money for cancer research and honor Lauren.  He spoke of how he entrusted his two most precious things in life, his two children, to the swim team and Coach Rick Millington, and thanked Coach Millington for being there for both Lauren and Mark.

This was an unforgettable event for all in attendance.  In addition to hearing Lauren’s story, it was inspirational to hear the stories of the other eight inductees into the DVC Athletic Hall of Fame.  She is in great company.

DVC Article: http://dvcvikings.com/General/2015-16/Spring16/Hall_of_Fame_2016

Deanne Speech John Speech Beth and Group

Reminder about the St. Baldrick’s Brave the Shave in Elk Grove!

The event is finally here!  On Wednesday, March 25th BJ’s Brewhouse will donate to our event 15% of your meal between 11:00am and 9:00pm if you bring in the BJ’s flyer.  Location is BJ’s Brewhouse on 9237 Laguna Springs Drive at Laguna Blvd in Elk Grove.  The Brave the Shave will also take place at BJ’s from 4:00pm until 7:30 pm.

If you would like to Brave the Shave you can sign up at the event.  If you aren’t quite that “brave” you can still come over to buy some raffle tickets or donate to one of the Shavees.  If you aren’t able to make it, you can still donate to one of the Shavees by going to StBaldricks.org and entering “Elk Grove, CA” in the search line.  If you already know who you would like to donate to, you can enter their name in the search line.

We have some wonderful prizes available for the raffle!  We have generous merchants who have supported our event by donating items and gift cards.  Stop by to see all the wonderful prizes that are available.

Please remember that we are holding this event in honor of Lauren.  She supported St. Baldrick’s because they provide funding for childhood cancer research.  We do this in her name, and all the other children who are currently fighting cancer, and all those who have not yet been diagnosed.

We truly appreciate all those who have continued to spread the word about childhood cancer.  Lauren would be honored to know how many people have taken up her cause.

Lauren Event Flyer 2015

BJ’s Meal Donation Flyer: St Baldricks bjs 2015

Second Annual St. Baldrick’s Shave Event in Elk Grove!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 will be the second annual St. Baldrick’s Shaving Event in Elk Grove.  Once again, we have Team LaurenStrong to support Lauren’s mission to raise the awareness of childhood cancer. St. Baldrick’s is an organization that Lauren supported due to their focus on pediatric cancer research.

The event will again be held at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse at 9327 Laguna Springs Drive, at Laguna Blvd.  Bring in a copy of the attached BJ’s flyer while you enjoy a delicious meal between 11:00 am and 9:00 pm and BJ’s will donate 15% of your meal to our St. Baldrick’s event.

The shaving will be from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm.  Come watch the fun, or better yet, join us in raising funds for childhood cancer research by participating as a shavee or donating to one of our existing shavees.  Many of Lauren’s friends and family will participate as shavees once again. There will also be raffles of items donated from local merchants.

Last year’s event raised just over $8,000.  Can we double that this year?  Join us for food, fun, and raffle prizes on Wednesday, March 25th!


Lauren Event Flyer 2015

St Baldricks bjs 2015

Coaches vs. Cancer

The Diablo Valley College basketball games benefiting the American Cancer Society are this Friday, January 30, 2015.  The women’s game starts at 5:30 pm and the men’s game starts at 7:30 pm at DVC.  The visiting team is Cosumnes River College of Elk Grove.  CRC is the local college that graduates from Laguna Creek High School, Lauren’s alma mater, attend if they stay local.

The fundraiser is at Diablo Valley College and is honoring Lauren and her fighting spirit.  The DVC swim team will be presenting the team ball prior to the women’s game.  We hope to see Lauren’s supporters at the game to help the teams raise funds for the American Cancer Society!

Lauren’s Legacy Updates

Wednesday, January 7, 2015, I was surprised to see my beautiful daughter’s smiling face on the front page of the Elk Grove Citizen.  They were honoring Elk Grove’s Leaders, Trailblazers, and other inspirations.  They were profiling those who passed away in 2014.  Lauren’s beautiful modeling picture graced the story’s main page.  What a surprise and honor to see that the Elk Grove Citizen felt she was an inspirational person the city lost.  She was also the youngest, with the next youngest being in his 50’s.  Attached is the link to the article: http://www.egcitizen.com/articles/2015/01/09/news/doc54ac75dc32022617398935.txt

Upcoming event alert!  Diablo Valley College continues to support cancer awareness and keep Lauren in their hearts.  On Friday, January 30th the men’s and women’s basketball teams with be having a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and will be holding the event in honor of Lauren.  The swim team will also be in attendance to show their continued support of Lauren and how much they meant to each other.  The event is Coaches vs. Cancer, which is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

There will be a pregame ball presentation with the swim team and coaches prior to the women’s game.  Lauren’s dad and I will be saying a few words prior to each game.  We continue to be amazed at the ongoing love and support from Diablo Valley College Athletics.

The women’s game starts at 5:30 pm. and the men’s game starts at 7:30 pm. at DVC in Pleasant Hill.  Please come out to Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill and support this wonderful event.  All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

DVC Lacrosse Video and Hell’s Kitchen Video

DVC JerseyThe Diablo Valley College Lacrosse game that benefited the American Cancer Society was a tremendous event.  The team is inspirational and won in sudden death overtime.  The game winning score came just after the team shouted, “LaurenStrong!”  I’ve attached links to the DVC article and a video of the retirement of Lauren’s #1 jersey video that Lauren’s uncle, Alan Kingsley, recorded at the event.  http://vimeo.com/112349447


Hell’s Kitchen was an excellent show on the night Lauren was in attendance.  To watch the show and see clips of Lauren enjoying her night was awesome!  The clips come quickly, so watch for when we enter the dining room at the beginning of dinner service.  Lauren enters first, followed closely by mom, then dad and the Dream Foundation representative, Dawn Reid.

The next clips are of the four of us at the table being served our dinner entrees, with Lauren front and center.  Then a quick clip of Lauren’s first bite of her beef wellington.  If you run the clip in slo-mo, you can see Lauren roll her eyes upward as she savors the bite.  Truly Lauren at her finest foodie moment.  At the last minutes, Hell’s Kitchen added a tribute to Lauren and included  the photo of Lauren with Gordon Ramsay.  It’s the last shot of the episode, after the previews to the next week’s episode.  The video link is attached to the Hell’s Kitchen episode. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yJlabj_2MY

Hells Kitchen Tribute