If you have been to Side Bar & Restaurant lately, you may have noticed that many of the staff members are sporting proudly unshaven, burly beards.
While the Dish team is simply fond of the fascinating face fur, the local staff’s artfully unkempt appearances come with good reason (and, it’s not because they have lost their razors).
Jon Traina (Side Bar’s bartender) is organizing a charity event to help raise money for cancer research. What started out as a simple bet for the staff of Side Bar and Restaurant on Gay Street has grown into support for patients living with cancer in Chester County.
Last October, Traina just stopped shaving. His roommate, Matt, who works for the West Chester Area YMCA, stopped too. It wasn’t long before people at work and friends were asking when he was going to shave it and then attempting to bribe him to shave his beard. It was a customer of the Side Bar that gave the bartender the idea to put his beard to a good use. The customer challenged Jon to see how much money he could raise for charity by shaving his beard.
Like many in our community, Traina knows people who have been touched by cancer and he chose to raise money for a local cancer care support organization, called SHINE. SHINE is a volunteer group devoted to cancer patients in Chester County by assisting them with prescriptions, transportation, their utility bills, and various therapies. The organization gives patients the edge in their battle against cancer. SHINE aims to lessen the burdens of this disease by helping the patient confront the challenges of cancer with dignity, determination and hope. SHINE directly benefit patients and their families by offsetting the costs of cancer care and support services offered at The Cancer Program of The Chester County Hospital.
Soon, fellow Side Bar employees decided to too let their facial hair grow wild–with 7 bearded men now teaming up with the Chester County Hospital, the YMCA and West Chester Barbershop to help bring awareness and raise money for cancer research.
All staff and extremely-hairy participants of fundraiser will flaunt their fuzz until Saturday, March 26th. On this afternoon, the Shave Off for Charity will take place from 2 to 5 pm, with all the bearded comrades banded together to receive their new clean-shaven trim directly in front of Side Bar.
Wrist bands will be sold for a minimum of $5 donation during this hairless event, which gets you $2 domestic drafts, $3 Stoli drinks and $5 house wines at Side Bar for the entire day.
Do note, all perfectly hairy participants are looking for people to sponsor them, so pick your favorite beard, support them and watch them severely snip it off — all to help raise money for cancer research. Side Bar will award the largest donation with a complimentary dinner for two.
Starting at 2:30 pm and then every 15 minutes after that, local barber Dave Van Ryn of Van Ryn’s Barbershop/West Chester Barber Shop, will shave the beard of the contestant with the least amount of donations. The winning beard will be the last one to be shaven, at around 4:00 pm.
We encourage all of West Chester’s downtown urban hillbillies to remain blissfully unshaven, too, in honor of the upcoming charity event (even if you aren’t employed at the Side Bar). For details and to find out how you can support The Side Bar Shave for SHINE visit: www.sidebarandrestaurant.com or www.chestercountyhospital.org/foundation.
Find Side Bar for the main event at 10 East Gay Street in West Chester.