dad and daughterNo one in Lake Highlands calls Bradyn Smith timid or shy, and adults who barely know her admire her. Oh, did I mention? She’s a fourth grader.

This month, after learning that her dad, Stuart, was going to shave his head to raise money for a cancer charity, Bradyn decided she’d do it, too. Bradyn’s PE teacher, Highlander’s Betty Moore, had recently died of the disease, and a Kindergartener at the school, Laura Beth Rote, is bravely fighting.

Stuart’s company, Markit, is the largest contributor to St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and Stuart let his hair grow all year as a build-up to the big day. He got executives in offices around the world to sponsor him, then he cajoled them into giving more.

Following his lead, Bradyn found her own sponsors. When her SVAA volleyball team signed up, their coach, Jill Carlson, offered to double-match their gifts.

On head-shaving night, the company podcast it to offices around the world, and Markit clients in England stayed up late to cheer Bradyn on. When her head was bare, I’m told the place erupted louder than if they’d made a million dollar trade.

A few days later, Bradyn and her classmates performed Tom Sawyer, the school musical. Bradyn took center stage, singing and dancing to beat the band. She stole the show.

In the end, Bradyn and Stuart raised $10,970 for St. Baldrick’s. Their goal had been $2,500. The money will be used for childhood cancer research.