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Shave and a haircut - $5,200 for Boy Scouts

October 29, 1998

By BRENDAN KIRBY / Staff Writer

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer




Donovan Bachtell shed some hair and his Hagerstown Rotary Club friends shed some dollars Wednesday to raise more than $5,000 for the Boy Scouts.

Bachtell, a Hagerstown accountant, sat patiently in the ballroom of the Best Western Venice Inn while his beard, mustache and head were shaved clean.

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"I've never seen him without a beard. I think most of the club members have never seen him without a beard," marveled Dale Swope as he watched clumps of Bachtell's hair fall to the floor.

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The event, which started as a dare, raised $5,200 for the Hagerstown Rotary Foundation. The money will be donated to the Mason-Dixon Council of the Boy Scouts in the name of former Rotary Vice President Keith H. Patterson, who died in August.

Bachtell, who has had a beard since 1981, a mustache since 1975 and a bushy head of hair a lot longer than that, said he and another club member began arguing one day about who had more gray hair.

From there, the conversation turned to facial hair, Bachtell said.

"We were sitting at the table last week and somehow we got into a conversation about how long people had sported beards and mustaches," he said.

Dan J. Spreng said he told Bachtell he would give $100 to see him without facial hair.

Bachtell, 40, said his first thought was to trick his friend out of the money by bringing in a picture of himself in high school, which was pretty much the last time he was hairless.

But others quickly kicked in some money, Bachtell said.

"They had a thousand bucks in two minutes," he said.

Bachtell said he would go under the razor but suggested trying to raise as much as possible and donate the money to charity.

"He kind of looks like one of the Three Stooges," said Spreng, who is president of Expedited Services.

After a few moments of admiring his new look, Bachtell proclaimed: "Great. It feels great Not quite what I thought it would look like."

Bachtell said he has had facial hair almost continuously since he graduated from Smithsburg High School in 1975. His mother is one of the few people who has seen him clean-shaven, he said.

"She's happy about the beard but not real happy about the hair," he said. "But it all goes to charity and the hair grows back."

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