Friday, March 14, 2014

Why They Do It -- Head Shave for Hope House

Nick Swearngin is famous for saying that the reason he started the Head Shave for Hope House event was because he wanted to shave his head and no one would let him. I think it’s true. Or at least it started out that way. As a young man, Nick worked alongside his father, then owner of John’s Barber Shop. Nick had always wanted to shave his head. His dad wouldn’t let him. Later, as a man in his thirties and after Nick had bought the barber shop, he thought surely he could shave his head now, but no. This time it was his wife that wouldn’t allow it. So Nick went about devising a way he could finally shave his head. That way was by creating a fundraiser for his wife's favorite charity—Hope House—and the event was born.

This year marks the event’s 6th year and there are nearly twenty people participating. I’m always curious about why people do it. So I asked four first timers and here’s what they said. 

Rob Fuller - “It's something I've always believed in. No woman or child should have to live in fear and if this charity helps even one person change their life for the better, then it is worth it. I only wish I could help more people. I see that Nick is always involved and he is so passionate about this charity and he is a great role model. I would like to be involved yearly if I could, but this is the busiest time of the year for an actor and I am usually gone during this time. But if I am home, I would love to help!” Rob is an actor and bodybuilder from Lee’s Summit who has recently appeared in "The Escape Plan", "Chavez Cage of Glory" and "The Kidnapping of Freddy Heineken". 

Mark Crouse - “My sister had a tough go of it in life. Some events that happened to her were not her choice. Some seemed logical given her past. And sometimes she made bad choices. I don't know if she ever knew what healthy living looked like--not even in those around her during her childhood. She stayed at Hope House a few times. She felt safety and love there. In November of 2010, she overdosed on alcohol and pills and died. I know she would thank you for those respites of peace in her life if she could. She can't. So I am.” Mark is a Marine and KU graduate. He works for Sprint. 

Ed Croteau - "I am a great admirer of the ministry of Hope House, to care for those who are in great need and sometimes great danger. I feel honored that Nick would approach me and ask me to be part of such a cool group. Thank you for allowing me to help make a difference." Ed works at Black & Veatch and hosts a weekly study in Lee's Summit called Faith: Substance and Evidence. 

Paul Brooks - “Many of us have at least one woman in our lives that has experienced violence from her significant other. This is not a woman's cause that a few of us champion; this is a vital issue that faces all of us. It is so easy for us, especially as men, to think that domestic violence happens elsewhere, but the reality is that 1 in 3 women will experience violence in her lifetime. It is up to supporters of the cause, as well as survivors of these atrocities, to stand against domestic violence." Paul is a UMKC graduate, volunteers with MOCSA and The Whole Person, and is Secretary at Baha'l in Raytown. 

Each of the participants has their own fundraising page. Please consider donating at And join us for this super fun event Saturday, March 15, 10am - 4pm at Lee’s Summit Fire Fighter Association Building at 322 S.E. Douglas Street (IAFF Local 2195).

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