VAST returns with new fundraiser for men’s health

VAST returns with new fundraiser for men’s health

Jake Bekemeyer

No Shave November is back this year for a group of men who are dedicated to growing their beards for a charity event to raise money and spread awareness about the importance of men’s health.
Sixteen men from VAST, a Marquette-based insurance and risk-management company, are growing full beards in a fundraiser attempt for Marquette’s Beacon House, a donation based hospitality. According to a 2017 CDC report, 12.4 percent of men in the United States ages 18 and over are in fair or poor health.

Scott Reddinger, an account manager and certified insurance service representative who has been with VAST for over five years said initially, he and a few other guys in the office started doing ‘‘Movember,’’ where they would grow moustaches and donate money to men’s health awareness.

When that ran its course, Reddinger said, his group decided to change it up and “Beards for Beacon” came about last year. In 2016 the group raised $2,700 in charity.

“We wanted to stay local, and [Beacon House] was a good fit,” Reddinger said.

Beacon House is a non-profit, donation-based charity that offers a home to families experiencing a medical crisis in which they have to travel to receive care and otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford a room.

Someone bringing up the scruffy facial hair is a good opportunity to mention the fundraiser, Reddinger said.

He added, VAST was thinking about choosing a different charity for this year’s fundraiser but decided against it.

“The enthusiasm Beacon House had for the fundraiser is what really drew us to them,” Reddinger said.

For this year’s fundraiser, VAST has a record number of participants with16 men growing beards and getting donations. After a strong monetary showing last year, they have set a goal to raise at least $3,000 this time around.

“We’re cautiously optimistic that we’ll hit the goal,” Reddinger, said.

The partnership between VAST and Beacon House, along with celebrity support on social media, renders this goal all the more attainable.

You can search for the fundraiser on Facebook. Every cent donated goes to Beacon House’s operating costs.