Belleville West teacher gets an unusual haircut for a good cause

News-DemocratNovember 26, 2013 

Belleville West High School teachers get their heads shaved after helping to raise over $3,000 for the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

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Belleville West science teacher Bob Flake will be sporting an usual haircut for the next week as a result of his class raising the most money during the No Shave November fundraiser for cancer research. Male teachers at Belleville West participating in the fundraiser grew facial hair and enticed students and fellow faculty members to donate money.

Flake committed to shaving his head and a beard he's had for 10 years if his class raised the most money, and they did with donations of $775.

Flake's new hair cut is courtesy of social studies teacher Paul Fraser, whose class raised the second highest amount at $582. Fraser surprised Flake Tuesday afternoon by not shaving his head and beard completely. Fraser shaved portions of Flake's hair to create a cross design and portions of his beard to create a "mutton chops" design.

The head and beard shaving event was broadcast live to West students during their last class Tuesday by students in the multimedia class.

Flake wasn't the only teacher to get his head shaved. West science teacher Mike Rogier also had his head shaved by Flake. Rogier agreed to shave his head if his class could raise $300, and they did.

In all, Flake said West raised more than $3,100, which will be donated to the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

"My motto is go big or go home," he said. "It shows you how awesome our kids are here."

Flake wanted to participate in the fundraiser in memory of his mother and mother-in-law who both died from cancer just five months apart. His mother Nancy Flake of Smithton died in December 2012 from colon cancer, and his mother-in-law Shirley Davis of Floraville died in May from breast cancer.

"We have been dealing with this monster for quite some time," Flake said of cancer. "This is something I can do to honor both my mother and mother-in-law."

A group of 14 male teachers at Belleville East also participated in No Shave November and raised their goal of $500 for the American Cancer Society. Belleville East teacher Bryan Young said the teachers called themselves "the Hairy B-East."

The class that raised the most money at East will get a pizza party. The winning class has yet to be announced.

For more information about No Shave November, visit http://www.no-shavenovember.com.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or jforsythe1@bnd.com.

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