North Carroll High School may well be the most hirsute campus in Carroll by the end of the month, as male staff and some students participate in a No Shave November contest to raise awareness of prostate cancer.
A project of the school's honors level marketing class, the No Shave November contest will raise money for the American Cancer Society by asking students to vote for their favorite beard growing teacher by making a monetary donation, according to Adison Eslinger, a North Carroll senior in the marketing class.
"At our lunch mods, we'll have buckets with the staff members' names on them and students will put money in the bucket of staff they want," Eslinger said. "The teacher that raises the most money wins ... We're not sure what our winners will get yet, but we're thinking about putting their face on a T-shirt with their fully grown beard."
Eslinger said that male students will also compete in a separate contest: Participants will donate $5 to enter the contest and will be judged by the school administration at the end of the month rather than the student body, with two free prom tickets given to the winner.
According to senior Dylan Schreibman, also a marketing student, the 21 participating male staff will be slowly eliminated over the course of the contest in order to encourage more donations to the school favorites.
"Elimination will be based on [each teacher's] overall rankings," Schreibman said. "We're talking about getting it down to the final three or four the final week."
The marketing students have picked a fundraising goal of $1,000, which will be donated to the American Cancer Society at the conclusion of the contest, according to business teacher and marketing class instructor Phil Myers.
"It sounds like a lot of money, but they have been breaking it down by how much people would need to give per day and it doesn't look so difficult," Myers said.
According to Eslinger, the class has calculated that it needs to collect $50 for each of the 21 staff participating to meet their goal, and if each student in the school were to donate 25 cents per day, the class could end up with almost $3,000 to donate.
Myers said that this is the first of his marketing classes to pick a project that actually affects the entire school as opposed to a classroom or two, and while the scope of the project is a challenge, he thinks it will actually make fundraising easier and present more opportunities for his students.
"The students thought it would be good to get the whole school involved in something," Myers said. "They've talked to people from the American Cancer Society and talked to all the teachers. They get to see a real life situation instead of a text book situation."
According to Lynn Runk, the school nurse who has also been acting as an informal adviser to the marketing students on prostate cancer awareness, the No Shave November contest might officially be for male staff and faculty, but even some female staff members have decided to participate as an act of solidarity with their male colleagues.
"We feel like men wear pink for us, so all the girls are not shaving for them," Runk said. "[North Carroll High School Principal] Ms. Dolch said that at the end we'll see who can braid the hair on their legs."
Myers is participating in the contest, though he said he wasn't sure how competitive we would be.
"I have a mustache, but I am currently sporting the rest of the gruff," he said. "I'm old and my beard is white. I'm sure some young, dark beards will show up and beat me."
According to Amanda Riebel, another senior in the marketing class, the student body may have already found a favorite in Assistant Principal Jason Arnold
"A lot of people will vote for Mr. Arnold just to see him grow a beard," Riebel said.
The normally clean-shaven Arnold said that he wasn't sure of his chances of winning, but he was willing to get scruffy to raise money for a good cause, not too mention his own competitive spirit.
"I don't know how much of a beard I can grow, if I am being honest, but I will grow what I can," Arnold said. "I like to win, so I'll probably be taking any tactic I can. I've heard that colored pencils are pretty good."