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Stop Shaving and Fight Lung Cancer

  • January 15 2014

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    Stop Shaving and Fight Lung Cancer

    My mother Laurie passed away in 2010 after a long battle with lung cancer. Laurie, a devoted wife and mother of three children, had many interests. She was an avid reader. She was a member of many non-profit organizations. Even with all her activities she always managed to be home when we got off the bus. I don’t remember my mother ever missing a sporting event (not easy with three kids, all of whom played sports).  

    Nothing, however, captured her time, energy and imagination as the holiday season. Christmas was her shining moment. The day Thanksgiving decorations went down the Christmas decorations when up – and then continued to go up for another week. LaurieShe didn’t stop until our house rivaled a department store. The set-up included two Christmas trees. The tree in the basement was dedicated to our family and needed a 10 foot radius to accommodate all the gifts. The tree on the first floor was for friends and neighbors. Once Christmas finally arrived we would open our gifts and then head to the kitchen for a traditional holiday feast that included recipes she ate as a child.
     
    I knew our first Christmas without my mother would be hard. Really hard. As December approached, my family decided it would be better to embrace our loss rather than stagger through the holiday season. We decided to start a fundraiser titled Beards for Hope.

    Beards for Hope is a four-week beard-growing contest. The concept is simple. You simply have to stop shaving. All a grower is required to do is take a weekly photograph of his beard as it progresses over the four-week period. If the grower can raise a minimum of $100 from his supporters, he is eligible to receive one of three awards: Best Beard, Most Donations Raised, and the crowd favorite Ugliest Beard.

    When we first started in 2010, we had no idea what to expect. We would have been happy if we had raised $500. But that first year, over 30 growers and a large group of supporters raised over $7,000! Last year’s campaign resulted in over $20,000 being donated to support lung cancer. Since its inception, the campaign has raised over $44,000!

    We were completely blown away by the positive support and awareness raised during the initial Beards campaign – and we Familyknow that we can make an even bigger impact this year, with your help. Lung cancer is incredibly underfunded, and every dollar makes an impact. I know my mother would be proud.

    For more information on Beards for Hope, visit our website. All proceeds associated with the 2013 event will benefit the National Lung Cancer Partnership’s programs dedicated to doubling lung cancer survival by 2022.
     
    Registration for the 2013 campaign begins on November 1. Space is limited to 40 growers. The growing starts Thanksgiving Day (nobody shaves on Thanksgiving) and continues for the next four weeks. If you are interested in becoming a grower for the 2013 campaign please contact me at beardsforhope@gmail.com.

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