With alopecia becoming at the forefront of conversation after Will Smith’s infamous slap, the disease has started to gain more attraction within media.
But Castleton student-athlete Rob Guerin has long been dealing with the effects of the disease that causes hair loss. And to support this cause, he is preparing for his second fundraising football tournament.
Guerin, originally from Thomaston, Connecticut, is a junior defensive lineman for Castleton’s football program. Off the gridiron, he has developed his own non-profit organization called 3B, Bold Bald and Beautiful.
“At the end of the day, giving back and helping those in need,” Guerin stated when asked about the effort. “I’d love to keep doing more and venture into different aspects where we provide scholarships and create fun events for kids see more and do more within their communities.”
Guerin’s off the field actions brought the community together at last year’s event. After the COVID-19 pandemic erased any in-person events, the 3B 7-on-7 Tournament was the first in-person event on-campus.
“I hope we do get a lot of in-person fans this year,” said Guerin. “I almost want it be like an end-of-the-year party for students and give them something to do right when classes end.”
This year’s event hasn’t been as stressful though, according to Guerin.
“This year, I have more kind of helping me out and there is diverse amount of people to help with ideas and plan the event,” he said.
One member from his crew, Saijon McIntosh, talked about how life-changing the event has been on him.
“This is making me the person I want to be by helping out others and do what I can to give other’s an opportunity like I’ve been given,” he said.
It’s not just the people behind the event who are excited about the tournament, the players say they feel blessed to be a part of this journey.
“Having everyone out there having fun and supporting a great cause,” is what Quentin Asiedu said he is looking forward to.
“It’s a great cause for one of my good friends,” said Caleb Graves.
“This is almost like a team bonding experience,” added Jacob Griggs. “We get to see some new and old faces and get to have a big crowd to put on a show.”
Jordan Wright and Dawson Pierson are excited for the turnout to help support such a great cause.
And Jarret Valdez said he thinks this day should become a national holiday.
Thinking back to who inspired Guerin to bring 3B to the Castleton community, he had two people in mind: professor Andy Weinburg and head football Coach Tony Valpone.
He says Weinburg was the man that brought 3B back to life with an assignment last semester. Valpone’s resources within the university and his initiative to have football players participate allowed Guerin to execute his plan.
All proceeds to this year’s event and merchandise sales will be donated back to the National Alopecia Areota Foundation, which focuses on the disease itself, community outreach and fundraising. The other organization, Camp Discovery, helps kids with any type of skin disorders giving them the opportunity to find cures for these disorders
The 3B event will be held at Dave Wolk Stadium starting May 7 at 4 p.m. with a 7-on-7 Tournament. The events will also be livestreamed onto the 3B YouTube channel for those not in attendance.