Chilliwack takes on No-Shave November

Chilliwack teachers are putting away the razors this month to raise funds for local family affected by cancer.

Sardis secondary teacher David Shepherd shaved his 'Zach Galifianakis' look to kick off the school's inaugural No-Shave November event.

Zach Galifianakis be gone.

Teacher David Shepherd gave Sardis secondary students his electric razor, on Friday, and told them to have at her in the name of No-Shave November.

After two months of growing his beard and mustache, it was time to start anew, he said.

Throughout the year, Shepherd regularly sports a well-coiffed, trimmed beard, but in preparation for the kickoff of the school’s inaugural No-Shave November campaign on Friday, he let it grow.

And grow.

And grow.

“It’s not a duck dynasty beard, it’s not that bad,” Shepherd said prior to the kickoff. “It’s kind of like Joaquin Phoenix, when he went off the deep end; that unkempt, shaggy look… or Zach Galifianakis. Looking at him is like looking in a mirror.

“I comb it every day, but it’s pretty bushy and super itchy, I’m ready for it to be gone.”

Shepherd is one of 13 teachers participating – growing mustaches, beards and any other types of facial hair as a cancer fundraiser.

Unlike Movember, which the school partook in last year, all monies raised through No-Shave November will go directly to the cause.

With Movember, approximately 13 per cent of funds raised go to administrative costs.

“I understand on one level the amount of work that goes into organizing these kinds of things, but at the same time we’re not going to affect change by running websites,” said Shepherd. “Where we’re going to affect change is by putting money into research, by providing resources to people who’ve been affected so they can try and continue to live as normal a life as they can, and then also to provide opportunities and peace of mind for people that are living with it right now.”

Fifty per cent of funds raised through No-Shave November will go to the Chilliwack chapter of ProCan, a prostate cancer support group, and the remaining 50 per cent will go to Ethan Fleming’s family in Rosedale.

Ethan is seven years old, diagnosed in the summer with a rare bone cancer (the same as Terry Fox had). He’s undergone surgery and rounds of chemotherapy. His family has been strapped both financially and emotionally.

“This is a kid who could be any kid, he could be a kid that’s in Grade 12 right now, he could be a kid in kindergarten right now, and he’s going through something huge, and his family’s going through something huge,” said Shepherd.

“As a school, and as a school district, we can come together and do something for him – for one of our own.”

Friday’s kickoff had students donating a dollar each per shave. Fundraising efforts will continue through the month.

The school has also issued a challenge to other middle and secondary schools in the district, hoping to raise even more money.

“I want to show that as a school district we care about more than just grades and homework, that we go beyond the 8;30 to 3 time frame,” said Shepherd.

“As a teacher, one of things I really rely on is modeling, and in good consciousness, I couldn’t say to my kids, hey you should be a positive member of society but then not do that by myself. I have to lead by example.

“Even if we only raise a couple thousand dollars, that’s something for [the Fleming family] and it’s going to help them a lot.”

For donation details contact Sardis secondary at 604-858-9424.

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