'Beard-Off' raffle raises money for new scholarship at HFCS


HOOSICK FALLS -- A scholarship in the name of recently passed Hoosick Falls Central School teacher Isabel McGuire got its start Thursday with the sale of about $400 in raffle tickets. At a dollar a ticket, students bought an opportunity to shave one of three of their teachers' overgrown beards.

"For two days of raffle ticket sales, (this is) very impressive ... as is for all of you to come to this," said teacher Bill Clairmont to all of the children watching as he anticipated what his face would look like at the mercy of a random student. Clairmont recently stepped in for McGuire's math classes.

He added, "I am not even from this town, and this makes you all feel like family to me."

Students wrote their names on each ticket and put it in one of three buckets for the teacher of their choice. Clairmont, Damien Bundrick and Robert Viera started growing their beards for "no-shave November" and made a pact to keep them going. On Tuesday, they printed off posters with eight different beard styles that students could choose from. About 70 students turned up to watch their teachers' transformations.

Never held a razor

After buying nine tickets, sophomore Ailish Paulin's name was drawn for Viera's turn. She said it was difficult to stay within one of the given beard styles since she had never held an electric razor before. "I thought it would be really funny to shave my art teacher's face," Paulin said. "All day I was nervous that if I got it I was going to cut him. I am glad I didn't."

Viera said he wasn't nervous about having a 15-year-old beard stylist, "I was nervous about getting this all together in a short amount of time and fitting so many students into a small space."

Although the finished products of the three men's beards might be difficult for their wives to look at, but they promised to keep the botched beard trims intact throughout today's school day. "After that it's all coming off," Bundrick said.

The McGuire scholarship is open to all HFCS upperclassmen.

Clairmont, Bundrick and Viera were happy to humiliate themselves to honor her memory in a fun way. "She was a great inspiration to everyone. The opportunity that we had to raise some money for a good cause yielded itself to this," Bundrick said.

McGuire passed away on March 13 at the age of 48. The scholarship was announced at her funeral.

Contact Tom Momberg at tmomberg@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomMomberg


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