Close shave for $10,000

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When it comes to auctions, trimming a beard is generally not what one expects on the auction block, but at St. Theresa School in Ashburn it was a hot ticket item. Parochial Vicar Father Thomas Cavanaugh's five-inch beard had its first appearance on the chopping block during last year's Parent Teacher Organization auction. He saw his fellow priests participating and decided he wanted to contribute in some way. As a result, he raised around $800 to cut off two inches of his bushy brown beard. This year he raised the bar and challenged auction attendees to raise $10,000. If they succeeded, he would not only shave the whole thing, but also would let the contributors snip it off that same night.

Unfortunately for his beard, but fortunately for the school, the money was raised, and for the first time in 10 years Father Cavanaugh's beard was no more.

Father Cavanaugh's lack of facial hair caused quite a stir when the students saw him.

"Most of the kids really liked the beard and thought of me as a young Santa Claus," said Father Cavanaugh. "One even said that he would have given $10,000 to have me keep it."

While the kids are adjusting to the change, Father Cavanaugh is happy the money will go to support the school and is confident they will find a good way to spend his beard money.

"We love our school, our students and our teachers, and we want to help them to grow in their faith and become the happy healthy people we know they can be," he said.

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© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015