It's approaching mid-December and I still have the "beard" I grew last month during our Beards4Boobs fundraiser. I've kept it for a number of reasons:
- Every time I see myself in the mirror I'm reminded that I haven't announced the winner of the Name That Beard contest yet. I really need to do that, because someone did win and there is a prize to be awarded.
- Neither my wife nor my son has inquired as to just when I plan on shaving.
- I'm curious to see whether another month of growth will fill in the sparse bits.
- I may want to go all Joaquin Phoenix at some point in the near future.
In case you missed it, we managed to raise just over $3,900 in November, thanks to our fuzzy chins and the generosity of our sponsors. I've also heard rumors that a Beards4Boobs t-shirt will soon be available for purchase, with a portion of proceeds from each sale going to the Breast Cancer Research Fund. Not coincidentally, Pete DiLillo, the man whose beard attracted the most sponsorship dollars will soon be receiving one of these t-shirts in recognition of his awesomenity...awesomnambulance...awesomeness.
It is November and I am once again observing the long-standing1 tradition of demonstrating my inability to grow a beard in thirty days. I shaved my goatee off in the wee hours of the morning on 01 November and my razor has been resting comfortably since. Unlike last year I have opted not to shave my burgeoning neckbeard, despite the strange compulsions it seems to create.2
What began four years ago as a spoof of National Novel Writing Month—with no purpose other than showcasing buffoonery and a certain amount of chest-thumping—has since evolved into a month-long quest; a quest known as Beards4Boobs.
Perhaps if we were all Chuck Norris, we How Not To Grow A Beard Month participants could combine the awesome might of our beards to cure breast cancer. As it stands, there isn't a Norris among us, so we must use our buffoonery and chest-thumping to coerce people (whether out of respect, awe or pity) to sponsor our beards, thus supplementing our meager follicular might with cold, hard cash; cash that will be used to fund research to find a cure.
If you'd like to assist my humble beard in this noble effort, please visit the site and sponsor me. If you don't care to sponsor me, please visit the site and sponsor someone else. While you're there, enter the Name That Beard contest and you just might win a signed copy of Christopher Moore's Bite Me: A Love Story, the third volume in the San Francisco Vampire Trilogy. I'm not promising anything, but if you check back in the second half of the month it is entirely possible that there will be another contest and another prize; you can probably figure out what the contest might be, but the prize will not be so easy to guess.
Once upon a time, I thought it might be fun to see if—by not shaving for an entire month—I could grow a beard. In homage to National Novel Writing Month (AKA NaNoWriMo), I decided to call my delusional pursuit How Not To Grow A Beard Month, or HoNoToGroABeMo for short; and in deference to the nigh-obsessive desire to inform the world of one's progress that comes along with endeavours like NaNoWriMo, I decided that I would photograph my "progress" every day and post it—along with some of my typical inane babble—on this very blog.
I was not in the least bit surprised when, thirty days later, my face looked as though it might once have had a proper beard but had since gotten the mange. I was, however, surprised when—a year later—my friend Bob Voegerl announced that not only would he join in my mad beard-not-growing farce, but that he was building a website dedicated to the effort. And thus sprang into being the official HoNoToGroABeMo website.
Eight people—men, we shall call them—from two continents participated in How Not To Grow A Beard Month last year, and there was some talk about possibly trying to raise some money for charity. I didn't think we would manage to drum up enough interest to make a charitable pursuit worthwhile, so the notion fell into the deepest recesses of my mind.
Then, in May of 2009, Bob's mother passed away after a short but intense battle with undetected breast cancer that had spread to her brain. In late October, Bob announced that he had added a new feature to the How Not To Grow A Beard Month website: Beards4Boobs, a charity fundraiser for the Ann Voegerl Memorial Breast Cancer Research Fund. The idea is simple: donors can choose to sponsor their favorite beard, and the beard that raises the most money for the fund will receive a fabulous prize.
I've been overwhelmed at the response so far. We're just a few days into November and we've received nearly $700 in donations. One of our participants, Dr. John Cmar, has $250 worth of sponsorship for his beard.1 Last night, our first female participant threw her bare chin into the ring; Mur Lafferty arrived to show us boys that we don't know jack about not growing beards.
It's amazing to watch something that was born out of pure silliness turn into something that's actually worthwhile doing. Please, if you can, go to the site and sponsor one of these folks and their chins (be they growing hair upon them or not).
- Wesley Clifford
- John Cmar
- Gus "The Bearded Goose" Gosselin
- Jeff Greiner
- Michael Harrison
- Adam Johnson
- Kris Johnson
- Mur Lafferty
- Chris Miller
- David Moore
- Jim Van Verth
- Bob Voegerl
To everyone who has already sponsored a beard: thank you for your generosity. I'll be posting updates throughout the month.
[UPDATE] If you've donated and you don't see the total update immediately, worry not. Bob currently has to update the donation amounts by hand, so there may be a delay before your generosity is reflected on the official page.
- Truth be told, he needs to grow that beard back. His naked face haunts my nightmares. [↩]