KAMLOOPS — While the heyday of the beard is likely centuries in the past, the facial foliage has seen a return to popularity in recent years. Despite the beard being somewhat appropriated by hipster culture, non-ironic facial hair is being sported by a decent portion of the population these days.
Until Tuesday morning, local man Jeremy Phelps was one of those who rocked a beard and had done so for nearly half a decade without a major trim; because of changing policy at work, the beard had to go. So, Jeremy turned what might have been a sad day into an opportunity to raise some money for a worthy cause.
Phelps was known as the guy with the beard, and with over a foot of ruddy golden bristles cascading off his chin like a hairy waterfall, it was easy to see why.
“I’ve had the full beard for about four and half years now, but I haven’t been cleanly shaven since I was 18,” Phelps told CFJC Today. “It’s almost 17 years since I’ve seen my chin.”
Today, that all changed.
“I’ve got to shave it for work, so I figured if it’s got to go, I might as well do something worthwhile,” Phelps explained.
The worthwhile cause he landed on was the Kamloops branch of the BC SPCA, an organization that’s currently in the final stretch of fundraising for their new Community Animal Centre.
“He reached out to us and said… he really wanted to do this for the SPCA,” Kamloops SPCA Community Development Manager Lisa Fuller explained.
Phelps set a goal of raising $1000 dollars for the new facility.
“I’ve got $820 on [my GoFundMe page] and I’ve almost got $300 in cash,” Phelps said. “We’ll probably get at least $1100.”
Money which will help the Kamloops SPCA reach their final goal.
“We’re down to our final 10%, but it’s still a lot of money to raise,” Fuller said. “Everyday we get contributions from individuals and businesses in our community, which really make a difference.”
At 10:00 o’clock Tuesday morning, the great shave began, and after some “before” photos to commemorate the beard (and a few more along the way) the deed was finally completed.
When asked how he was feeling, post-shave, Phelps responded: “Sad. Slightly horrified.”
But when asked if he thought the pain was worth it?
“Yeah, for sure,” Phelps said. “I’ve kept the GoFundMe open so people can still find it and donate.”
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