Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Instructors shed identities for prostate fundraiser





Beards shaved off: New Brunswick Community College students Anissa Picard, left, and Ashley Thibodeau, right, shaved half of the beards off Keith Ross, second from left, and Tim Smith, second from right, instructors at the community college. The men promised to shave half their faces if the students raised more than $1,000 for prostate cancer research. At centre is Sam Symes who fundraised with Picard and Thibodeau.


Keith Ross and Tim Smith estimate that they've saved a combined 120,120 minutes in grooming time by not shaving over more than three decades.

Ross, a human services instructor at the New Brunswick Community College, shaved his beard once in 32 years after an unfortunate beard-trimming incident. His beard, he said, is part of his identity.

Smith, an instructor with the college's civil engineering technology program, started growing a beard 34 years while in university.

'Not shaving is worth an extra five minutes in bed in the morning and, if you work that out, I am ahead by miles,' he said.

They agreed to shave half their beards off if students managed to raise $1,000 for the Prostrate Cancer Research Foundation as part of the Movember campaign.

On Monday they made good on their promise. Ashley Thibodeau and Anissa Picard used electric trimmers to clean off the hair on one side of the instructors' faces.

Both men said they would keep half a
beard for the remainder of the day but planned to shave the rest of it off. Neither remembers what they look like without beards.

Smith said he also feels that his beard is part of his identity, but he will remain clean-shaven for a few weeks to gauge people's opinions on whether he should regrow his facial hair.

Ross said he hopes in a couple of weeks his beard will grow back enough to hide a double chin. He admitted to being nervous about losing his beard.

'I am, especially since my wife is here,' he said.

Janet Ross watched as the facial hair fell on her husband's shirt and the floor in a common area of the community college building in Fredericton. She said she couldn't remember him without a beard and wondered what he would look like without it.

'I'm going to have a new husband. I only saw him once without a beard in 34 years. It's exciting,' she said.

As the shaving happened students held smartphones, taking videos and photos which they were uploading on social media sites.

A mirror was brought out so Smith and Ross could see themselves. Neither was too impressed with the man
in the mirror.

'It's very different. My chin suddenly disappeared,' Smith said.

Ross was bemoaning the size of his.

'I've got an extra one.' Thibodeau, Picard and Samuel Symes, students with the college's human services program, organized bake sales, 50/50 ticket sales, bottle drives and donations on the Fredericton campus over the past
two weeks. They raised just more than $1,010, not including donations that were made directly to the Movember campaign, Ross said.

The students said they were only able to meet their goal because many people supported them. The best part of the fundraising event was the humiliation they managed to bring to the instructors, they said.