Marc Shields, operations manager at Troubled Monk brewery, is one of seven central Albertans participating in the Save the Beard fundraiser for the Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Central Albertans hope to keep their beards, raise money for mental health

Seven central Albertans will risk losing their beards to support people struggling with their mental health.

The Save the Beard fundraiser is raising money for the Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation, which provides programs to those suffering from mental illness.

Participants are collecting money through a GoFundMe page, with the top two fundraisers potentially having their beards saved.

One of the participants, Marc Shields, operations manager at the Troubled Monk brewery in Red Deer, said it’s been a long time since he’s been without facial hair.

“This beard, in various shapes and sizes, has been around for probably 13 to 15 years – about as old as my son,” Shields said.

Is he nervous about potentially having to shave it off?

“To a certain degree. Especially considering it’s damn cold today. Plus, I’m a bigger guy than I used to be, so I have no idea what’s under there anymore,” he joked.

Shields said he’s happy to support the Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation.

“If I can do a little bit to help someone who’s struggling to improve their life, it’s better for everybody,” he said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Shields leads all fundraisers with $1,200. More than $2,700 has been raised collectively by all the participants.

Foundation co-founder Rick More said the businesses and people of Red Deer have kept Smiles Thru Lindsey going strong.

“It’s unbelievable how much they do to keep Lindsey’s legacy alive by raising money and awareness. The stigma (surrounding mental health) is a huge part of this. That’s always been an issue,” he said.

Rick and Cindy More founded the foundation shortly after their daughter Lindsey took her own life at the age of 22.

“We hope people will open up and say ‘I need help.’ Even in Lindsey’s case, it was hidden. She hid it from us, she hid it from most people because of the embarrassment caused by the stigma that was created years ago.

“I feel the newer generation is starting to understand and is starting to talk about it. That’s such a key part to improving our youths’ lives,” he said.

Beards will be shaved or saved this Saturday at Bo’s Bar and Stage. Tickets for the event are $25 and available through Bo’s Facebook event page or Eventbrite.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Assault suspect nabbed with sawed-0ff shotgun

Rocky Mountain House RCMP conduct investigation

New highway to B.C. proposed

The Howse Pass shortcut to British Columbia is worth taking another look… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP execute search warrant

Heavy police presence on Nash Street

Health care coalition calls on government for pharmacare funding in next budget

OTTAWA — A coalition of 150 health care organizations and non-profits is… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 6 A Perogie Supper is being held Thursday, Feb. 6 from… Continue reading

Reader’s opinion: Here’s how Premier Kenney can build a stronger Alberta

Apparently, the UPC government has decided that most seniors should pay more… Continue reading

14 Americans test positive for coronavirus as U.S. evacuates cruise passengers

U.S. officials said early Monday that 14 American passengers evacuated from the… Continue reading

New Brunswick premier admits ‘gaps’ in scrapped plan for overnight ER closures

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says criticism of his government’s… Continue reading

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

VANCOUVER — As cabinet ministers broker urgent meetings over rail blockades in… Continue reading

Trial of Quebec entertainer Eric Salvail hears testimony of alleged sex assault

MONTREAL — The trial of Quebec media star Eric Salvail opened Monday… Continue reading

Canadian snowboarder Blouin wins World Cup gold in women’s slopestyle

CALGARY — Laurie Blouin couldn’t wipe the smile off her face after… Continue reading

Alberta skip Laura Walker’s change of heart gets her to first Hearts

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — Laura Walker wasn’t going to curl with a… Continue reading

Most Read