EHS Research Team’s unique fundraiser: Shave the Beard

Cecilia Orth, visual editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Edina High School Research Team members are currently raising funds for their trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos that will cost $5,000. The team consists of 24 juniors along with three science teachers: Lindsey Smaka, Eric Burfeind, and Ryann Longley. Nicknamed “the Galapagang,” the team will aid in conservation efforts and help create an eco-tourism program by taking samples and surveys of the environment.

The science-based trip is through Operation Wallacea, an organization that runs a series of biological and conservation management research programmes. The first week will be spent in the Ecuadorian Amazonian Forest. Students will complete surveys and learn about tropical rainforests, plant life, fish, birds, amphibians and reptiles, and conservation challenges in the Amazon. “We’re going to help research scientists from Operation Wallacea to count mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects,” junior member Lara Flanagan said. The second week will be spent scuba diving in the Galapagos. Students will complete a Galapagos Island ecology course about the marine environment, endemic species, marine megafauna, and adaptive radiation.

The group’s goal is to fundraise $500 each, 10% of their trip. “We want to help alleviate funds because it’s a pretty expensive trip,” junior member Alyssa Corder said. The students have hosted a carwash, a movie screening, a fall festival, and most recently, a shave the beard event. “I think this is probably going to be our most successful fundraiser,” Flanagan said.

Fourteen EHS faculty members volunteered to grow out a beard and shave it into their most voted beard style. Each volunteer picked out three of the five styles: handlebar, friendly mutton, batstache, horseshoe, and Van Dyke. Their chosen styles were displayed and voted upon in the cafeteria during the week of Nov. 12. Votes could be purchased at 50 cents each or at $5 for 12. At the beginning of the voting period, it was difficult to get students to vote. “Not everyone sits in the cafeteria so they don’t really know about it with the kids in the commons. Sometimes we would just go around and talk to them. If we have connections with some of them, they’ll tell their friends and then they’ll vote too,” Corder said.

In addition to the numerous posters around the school, the teachers and staff took the initiative to advertise the fundraiser to students and in Mr. Franske’s case, on social media. “It’s actually a funny story. He posted on his Facebook and he had his friends Venmo him the money for the votes,” Flanagan said. Franske received approximately 1000 votes and $400 from his Facebook friends. In total, the fundraiser made $875.

On the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving break, the volunteers wore their most voted beard styles to school. “Look forward to seeing Beaton with batstache,” Flanagan said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email