August was drawing to a close; the leaves were green, the sun was hot, and my phone was ringing.
I was immediately on board. I was so excited to participate, to out-fundraise, to share the team’s progress, to inform Burlington and all of Vermont what we were doing, and then it hit me. I can’t grow a beard. I just can’t. I guess I could have tried harder, could have focused more time and energy on growing a beard, but I think Larry meant for me to help with the behind-the-scenes aspects and leave the beard growing to those genetically capable: the men of the H-Team.
A little deflated but a lot determined, I took to my computer and designed signs to be hung around the dealerships, encouraging the Heritage men to grow beards and encouraging the Heritage women to encourage those beards. (You never know what some good ol’ follicle encouragement can do!)
At the end of sign-up, seventeen brave, brave men throughout the dealerships had committed to a month of follicle flourishing. It was quite a sampling of employees; from Ford Parts warehouse staff to Toyota sales managers, and from our website coordinator to President and CEO. Everybody was ready to bring their B-Game. Beard-Game. Grade A B-Game. Everybody was ready to grow a beard.
As you can see, not all 17 started clean. Dan got about two day’s head start, and Rich has always rocked a wicked walrus ‘stache and decided to grow out the rest of his beard for charity. The days passed, the beards grew, and we had 2 of the original brave 17 succumb to the blade. We even had posters made to inform our customers why some salesmen had scraggly beards, but it wasn’t enough. Both Mason and Jason shaved over a basin, and got back to clean facin’. Alas, the remaining fifteen grew on.
The days were growing shorter, the beards were growing longer and the month was drawing to a close. We had 14 employees from across our South Burlington campus shun shaving for the month to help raise money for prostate cancer research. We raised a total of $446 during the month of September and Heritage Automotive Group matched that, bringing the grand total to $892.
Septembeard defines itself as: “…an organization with a simple, focused goal: eradicating prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men, in our lifetime. And with your participation and financial support, our goal is within reach. Be part of something bigger than yourself, and look good, while doing good.” While we might not have raised and donated the most money, we’re proud of each and every employee who participated and donated to such a great cause. All of that money goes straight to prostate cancer research, and that makes it all worth it. We’d also like to extend a big thanks to the Burlington, Vermont community for your support and donations; we couldn’t have done it without you.