More than 35 Varnum team members didn't shave during the firm's "No-Shave November" fundraiser for the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Foundation. Courtesy Varnum
A downtown law firm was looking a little scruffy last month as part of a campaign to raise money for a hospital.
More than 35 Varnum employees across three of the firm’s statewide offices raised more than $4,000 for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation by pledging not to shave the entire month of November.
The challenge was issued by Varnum executive partner and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation trustee Tom Kyros and inspired by “No-Shave November,” a national campaign to raise awareness of various cancers.
Kyros’ challenge was the first time Grand Rapids-based Varnum participated in “No-Shave November” as a firm.
An unnamed member of the firm offered to donate $100 on behalf of any employee who participated in the challenge, while some employees opted to donate in lieu of participating.
Clients weren’t directly made aware of the campaign, though Varnum’s social media team shared photos and updates of employees’ beards throughout the month.
Response to the firm’s campaign was overwhelmingly positive and sparked some competition among the employees to see who could grow the best beards and mustaches.
When November came to an end, many of the employees were eager to shave off their philanthropic facial hair.
“No-Shave November” was founded in 2009 to raise money for charity by encouraging men to grow their facial hair throughout the month of November.
People and teams can register online and donate the money they would normally spend on shaving and grooming for the month or start fundraising pages to raise donations.
The Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the downtown Grand Rapids hospital, raising money to help support programs, expand services and provide research funding.
In its 2014 fiscal year, the foundation received 19,280 gifts totaling more than $37.2 million in donations.
Nearly 80 percent of its $17.6 million in distributions went to program services in 2014.