It had the feel of a ribbon cutting ceremony—if you replaced ribbons with beards, that is.
On Thursday, a group of 11 East Hampton Middle School teachers and staff gathered with shears in hand to commemorate the end of “Humanuary”—a month-long pledge to not shave body or facial hair, all in an effort to find a fun way of donating to a local charity.
The group ended up donating about $150 collected in pledges to the East Hampton Food Pantry last week, according to Claude Beudert, a special education teacher at the middle school. “Humanuary” was the brainchild of Mr. Beudert and teacher Jon Mautschke. The two came up with the idea at a faculty holiday party in December.
While the group that strolled into Mr. Beudert’s classroom on Thursday afternoon was mostly made up of men, sporting a variety of beards, there were a few women in the mix.
In fact, “Humanuary” started out as “Manuary,” but when some women joined in, Mr. Beudert said the group decided to change the name.
As for where the women chose not to shave? No questions were asked, quipped Mr. Beudert. One of the female participants, Judy Horan, said “Humanuary” should be an annual tradition.
“It’s for a great cause and it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “And I don’t have to shave my legs.”
Between the men, there was a bit of a competition as to who had the thickest beard. Mr. Beaudert said at one point the staff jokingly accused math teacher Doug Milano of sprinkling his face with Miracle-Gro because “his grows so fast.”
A clean shaven Mr. Milano, though, said he opted to shave two weeks into the month after his pregnant wife protested when she found out that he planned to go the entire month without shaving. “She had, like, an explosion of emotions,” he said.
Mr. Beaudert said many of his students kidded him, saying “You’re losing to Mautschke,” who sported a thick, black beard on Thursday afternoon. But Mr. Beaudert said he was the winner in one category, at least.
“Mine would be, I was thinking, the grayest, but probably the most distinguished,” he said.