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Shaving heads and faces for a good cause

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Most men worry about losing their hair, but four men who work at Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd have some to spare.

The men — Jack Barry, David Watson and Les Beto, maintenance engineers, and JD Berns, staffing clerk at the hospital — plan to have their beards shaved and hair either trimmed or shaved Friday as a fundraiser for co-worker Dorinda Hamilton, who was recently diagnosed with Stage Four Cancer.

The benefit for Hamilton — who was born and raised in Brainerd, and has worked in the staffing office for the past 10 years at Essentia Health — will be conducted from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Northland Arboretum. Even though the benefit is scheduled, hospital staff wanted to do more — and wanted to see less hair on four men.

Amy Ryan, a registered nurse at Essentia Health, said she thought it’d be fun to see if the men would be willing to shave their beards and heads, and in return they’d raise money for a good cause, to help Hamilton.

“Dorinda is a ball of cheer,” said Ryan. “Anyone who knows Dorinda would agree that she’s a loving person who always has a smile on her face.

“I asked them (the men) how much money would it take for them to shave for the fundraiser and they said they’d do it for nothing because it was for Dorinda ... It’s very heartwarming.

“I’m also excited because I have never seen David’s face shaved so I am looking forward to see what he looks like.”

Watson said it has been a long time since he has shaved his beard.

Deb Anderson, volunteer coordinator/gift shop manager, said “Dorinda is the happiest girl on this planet ... She has a caring heart and her personality is inspiring.”

Anderson said the fundraiser began last week and so far the hospital has raised about $1,300. Anderson said, even though the men would shave regardless on how much money would be raised, that the competition to raise more money is exciting. Anderson said if anyone wants to help hospital staff reach their goal of $5,000, they may send donations to the hospital before Saturday, the day of the benefit.

The benefit will be a sloppy joe lunch for a donation of $7, silent auction and cash and prize drawings. Donations for cash or auction items also are being accepted.

Barry, who will shave his beard and trim his hair, said Hamilton always brightened up his day because of her cheerful personality.

“To see where she is now is tough,” said Barry. “She’d always say ‘Hi, how are you’ and now seeing her in a wheelchair for treatment is hard ... My mom died of cancer and her nickname was ‘Dori’ so that makes this fundraiser even more meaningful.

“The right thing to do is to find a cure for cancer.”

Berns, who plans to have his head and face shaved, has worked with Hamilton for the past two years.

“She did all my training and I worked with her day in and day out,” said Berns. “I was happy to help her out, I wish there was something more I could do.

“In all our days at work, there was never a crabby day. if we got hit with something, she would always be cheerful.”

Ryan said the men will be shaved at noon Friday out on the patio outside of the cafeteria at the hospital.

To make a donation to the hair/beard fundraiser, interested contributors may contact Anderson at 828-7610.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at or 855-5851. Follow me on Twitter at