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Siblings turn 'no-shave November' into millions for cancer research

The initiative began in 2009 by a group of siblings
beard pic (taylor hemness)
Posted at 10:40 AM, Nov 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-22 11:44:37-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Have you noticed a few more beards and mustaches in your life this month?

Thousands of people are participating in "No-Shave November," including KSHB 41 morning anchor Taylor Hemness.

But did you know the origins of that initiative? It actually started with one family paying tribute to their father after his death from cancer.

Matthew Hill, who lived just outside of Chicago, died of colon cancer in 2007. His eight children wanted to find a way to honor his memory, and raise money for cancer research.

"(Matthew) was a banker, and so he was clean-shaven pretty much all his life," Sara Svendsen, Executive Director of the Matthew Hill Foundation, said. "But he really enjoyed weekends and holidays and vacations when he got to put down the razor."

So "No-Shave November" was born in 2009. Since then, more than $13 million has been raised to support multiple organizations in the fight against cancer.

"We have a lot of people who are donating to these members that sign up, and a lot of loving family and friends and co-workers that are supporting their hairy journey, as we like to call it," Svendsen said.

Svendsen tells KSHB 41 that about 1,000 people sign up each year to participate on the No-Shave website. The money they donate, or donated in their name, goes to thirteen different benefiting foundations, which support people fighting things like kidney and testicular cancer. A full list of benefiting foundations can be found on the website.

If you like, you can even type in Taylor Hemness on the donation page under "Are you donating to a specific member or team," and donate as part of his team. Taylor has designated the "No-Shave November" general fund as his beneficiary, so all donations there will go toward administrative fees for the Matthew Hill Foundation and then be split evenly among the other benefiting foundations.

Or, you can choose your own benefiting foundation, and your entire donation will go there.