Bye Bye Beards

By Mark Kearney – Bendigo Advertiser

Linton Pitson and Tim Dalton have never seen each other without their beards.

But the Bendigo couple have promised to go under the barber’s razor if a fundraising campaign for breast cancer research reaches its $10,000 target.

Both have aunts who are battling the disease.

“[Cancer] has touched our family in a few different ways, and we want to give back anyway we can,” Mr Dalton, 30, said.

“The first thing we were willing to sacrifice was our beards, which is quite a big deal.”

Mr Dalton, who manages Wholefoods Kitchen in Lyttleton Terrace, has not been without facial hair for four years, while 24-year-old Mr Pitson’s Ned Kelly-style growth has taken three years to cultivate.

Both men said they started growing their beards to cover up their baby-faced appearances.

“Everyone would say, ‘I’d like to speak to the manager,’ then they would be surprised when I put up my hand and said, ‘That’s me.’,” Mr Dalton said.

They have given themselves until October 1 before visiting Bendigo salon Renik to farewell every last whisker, a process they hope to capture on camera.

The pair are counting on warmer weather by the time they have to brave the world clean-shaven.

More than $1700 has already been pledged to the cancer cause, a figure that will be supplemented by a barbecue at Woolworths Kennington, where Mr Pitson works, on September 3.

A nighttime fundraiser is also under consideration, a “last hurrah” for the facial accoutrement before hitting the barbershop floor.

All money raised will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, helping the 60,000 women living with the disease.

While they will be sad to part with their follicled features, Mr Dalton and Mr Pitson’s loved ones were keenly anticipating the close shave.

“I think my nanna will be glad to see my face again,” Mr Pitson said.

Mr Dalton had warned co-workers they might not recognise him once his beard was gone.

“It’s kind of part of me now, so I’m going to feel incredibly weird shaving mine off.”

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