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Students grow 'beards for boobs'

By Megan Thobe
On November 5, 2012

The Beards for Boobs organization began as a simple dorm room idea a month ago, but has grown into an organization that has already raised over a thousand dollars for breast cancer research.

Beards for Boobs raises money through sponsors who pledge to donate money to the organization based on how long the sponsored waits before shaving.

The organization also raises money by selling t-shirts and bracelets that allow the wearers to show their support. The idea that sparked it all came from first-year Alex Belman.

Belman and a group of his friends in Wells Hall began to make plans in early September for their organization and decided to offer support for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. According to Kenny Ness, who is the vice president of the group the initial idea evolved quickly.

"For two days after he pitched the idea all of us contributed ideas and worked to make them happen," Ness said.

Will Damas, Conner Flynn and Sean Kelly also heard Belman's pitch and contributed to its development. According to Okello Wilson, the Wells Hall Academic advisor, the entire group has "taken some incredible initiative."

"They had an idea that they have been following through with it ever since," Wilson said. "They saw a need and recognized that students would want to get involved something meaningful to address that need."

Wilson said the Beards for Boobs organizers have attempted to use all outlets to gain support across campus. They began a Facebook group and began accepting donations through their website at

Ness connected the organization to a group project for his business class. The group was assigned to create a business plan for a non-profit organization.

Project group member first-year Jake Henderson said connecting the project to his class helped to solidify the idea and make it a reality.

"I wasn't one of the original founders of this group, but I think it can be seen through me how quickly this organization has grown," Henderson said. "I've only worked on [Beards for Boobs] since that project in business class, but I've already seen it expand so much."

Since it began accepting donations in September, Beards for Boobs has collected $1,601.00 for the cause. Last week, Beards for Boobs became registered with The Hub, which has allowed it to plan for more visibility on campus. By the end of November the goal is to bring in $5,000.

According to Belman, the group backed off of spreading the word about the organization through October so that it could return in full-force during November. The group hopes to raise money through donations and by having men grow out their beards during November for pledged donations from area businesses and student organizations.

Near the end of November, the Beards For Boobs organization plans to host a finale event which Belman said is expected to be the biggest source of donations.

The group has connected with both the men's hockey team and the women's synchronized skating team for additional support. Members from the team have purchased the "Beards 4 Boobs MU" pink bracelets and Kelly, the Beards For Boobs marketing director, said they hope they will be able to raffle tickets for a hockey game.

Throughout November Beards for Boobs will have a table set up near the hub to nurture campus support and distribute t-shirts, cup coolers, and pink bracelets. T-shirts may also be purchased online at

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