Operation Warm Duluth: Losing the beards to get kids a coat

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Five men in Duluth shaved last night.

Is that news? Generally no.

But the five men we're talking about did it for Operation Warm – a foundation that provides warm winter coats for children whose families may not have the means to buy one. Duluth Firefighters Local 101 have become local ambassadors for the program.

So on Thursday night, getting a thick, full beard shaved off their face, were:

  • Blake Thomas – Musician, creator of "Take it With You" radio Show
  • Bryon Tonnis – Owner of Bent Paddle Brewery
  • Ezra Bennett – Coffee roaster at Alakef Coffee
  • James Gaylord – St. Louis County social worker
  • Nicholas Pascuzzi – Head bartender at Vikre Distillery

The goal was to raise $10,000 – each bearded fella ccollected donations up to $2,500 for a "bounty" on their facial hair. Northland's NewsCenter reports the operation will buy coats for 300 Duluth children.

The U.S. Census Bureau's latest figures show 22.1 percent of people in Duluth live below the poverty level – the statewide number is about half that.

Operation Warm says more than 220,000 children across the U.S. got winter coats last year, according to the organization's annual report.


The Thursday event also included music, beer and food.

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