Franklin Elementary staff hosts ‘Beard-a-thon’ fundraiser

Seven staff members from Franklin Elementary School, Anoka, now known as “The Bearded Seven,” raised nearly $2,000 for allowing their facial hair go untamed this November.

Students stand in line to shave Child Nutrition Site Supervisor Jerry Anderson’s beard.

Students stand in line to shave Child Nutrition Site Supervisor Jerry Anderson’s beard.Photo by Olivia Koester

The money will offset field trip costs and fund technology in the school.

Child Nutrition Site Supervisor Jerry Anderson; teachers Luke Amundson, Don Gawreluk, Lee Peterson and Mark Voth; Principal Brian Erlandson and Building Supervisor Mike Dussl sported beards for most of November, some electing to end the madness before Thanksgiving break.

The Bearded Seven met in Clara Stoltz’s third-grade classroom Nov. 26 for a pizza party, awarded to the class that raised the most money.

Some of The Bearded Seven promised dinner and a show for the students, whipping out their razors as students ate.

Students had wild ideas about what would happen to the men’s beards. “We’re going to trim [them] off with a snowmobile,” one student said.

“I don’t think that would feel very nice,” Erlandson responded.

If the fundraiser brought in $10,000, The Bearded Seven were to shave in front of the entire school. Although the school did not achieve that goal, raising $1,941, some of the staff decided to reward Stoltz’s class.

Gawreluk, a fifth-grade teacher, shaved first and students looked on in awe.

“Who wants some hair in their pizza?” he said before students yelled that he looked like a teenager.

Dussl brought along his own barber, fourth-grader Jackson Dehen. “He’s been bugging me,” Dussl said.

Jackson was not nervous, despite having no beard shaving or growing experience of his own.

“He kind of looks like Papa Smurf,” Erlandson said of Dussl, eliciting squeals of laughter from the classroom.

Third graders lined up for the opportunity to shave Anderson, chanting “Shave it, Jerry!”

Throughout the fundraiser, students had a chance to get involved on special days, like Mustache Day and Joe Mauer Sideburn Day. Students could color and wear fake facial hair.

Olivia Koester is at
[email protected]

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