Hair Ye! Hair Ye!
October 10, 2013
Are you the person at work that serves as the voice of reason; who puts the bigger picture into perspective when things don't go as planned? A bad monthly, the single peaked at #82 or a debut sales week was a catastrophically low 1,300 units. You know who you are. The one who reminds, "Well, it's not like we're curing cancer."
Do some of us a favor during November, will you? Take the month off.
A lot of us will actually try to tackle the big C next month by participating in the third annual No Shave November, benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The name says it all, as participants are encouraged to stop shaving for 30 days.
There are countless opportunities to employ puns when talking about this fundraiser. The word growth automatically comes to mind. After generating $38,000 in 2011, No Shave November blew up last year, hauling in $138,000. The goal for 2013: $150,000 or better.
What started out in 2011 as a comical whim by that kooky, crazy gang at Warner Music Nashville has become an actual, organized event for St. Jude. That said, the No Shave theme retains its sense of sarcasm and irreverence, evidenced by the group of industry pros who oversee it. They call themselves the "Beard of Directors." Get it?!? This year's honorary "Chairman of the Beard" is Keifer Thompson, half of the Thompson Square duo, who led the winning fundraising team last year.
And like any great event, there's a big celebration at the end with awards and everything, called "The Beard Bash." This year's Bash is Tuesday, November 26th. I have been to both bashes so far and even took home the "Groomsman" award in 2012. The granddaddy of the awards however is the coveted "Beard of the Year" prize, won by Mercury Nashville VP/Promotion Damon Moberly last year.
Moberly has somewhat of an advantage in that he more or less trains year-round for No Shave, sporting facial hair 24/7/365. Think "The World's Most Interesting Man," only much younger and without that non-specific accent. He's not talking any smack this year as he preps for defense of his title and in fact says modestly, "I really have the same beard every year: nice, full and gray." He actually wishes No Shave started in October. "That way I could get it to grow longer; there's no telling how big I could get this gray mess to be."
It wasn't merely the facial masterpiece which helped Moberly win it all last year. He started an individual donation page and was leading that category up until two hours before the Beard Bash, when he says, "Anther label executive who will go unnamed, made a huge donation, last minute."
Actually, that was just fine with Moberly. "Of course the enthusiasm is the St. Jude connection," he says. "And the record biz is such a community, with many of us tightly involved with what the hospital does. It's something we love to get behind; No Shave is fun but it also helps educate a lot of people about St. Jude."
To achieve its aggressive fundraising goal, the No Shave emphasis for 2013 is building teams of radio stations, companies, artists and labels who will each donate at least $30 to participate. There's already a long and impressive list of participants, including artists Thompson Square, Benton Blount, Craig Campbell, Randy Houser, Dylan Scott and Austin Webb. Companies include Big Machine Label Group, Blaster Records, BBR Music Group, Country Aircheck, Country Weekly, Sony Music Nashville, Tenacity Records, Universal Music Group/Nashville and Warner Music Nashville. Radio stations and shows include the Bobby Bones Show, KAJA/San Antonio, KTEX/McAllen, TX, WCYQ/Knoxville, WDXB/Birmingham, WKML/Fayetteville, NC, WSIX/Nashville and WUSY/Chattanooga. Each team member will then ask friends and business associates for donations on their behalf to raise even more money for the cause.
And that cause is daunting. It costs about $1.8 million each day to operate St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, a cost primarily funded by public donations. On average, 7,800 active patients visit the hospital each year, but no family ever pays St. Jude for anything. And the research done at St. Jude has made an incredible difference, increasing survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20% when the hospital opened in 1962 to 80% today.
Grow a beard to keep that going? Who wouldn't be all-in on that?
Of course I am. And I'm trying to recruit an All Access team, which I have dubbed "The Hair Apparents." So far, I'm the sole member of this team but don't let that dissuade you.
Sign up at the official No Shave November website here today and we'll track our progress during November. It's really fun to watch how facial hair changes somebody's look on a weekly basis. For the last two years when people watched mine evolve, the name "Santa Claus" was somehow evoked.
Actually, I'm fine with that. Santa has always had a thing for kids too.