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No-Shave November

Clear Creek sheriff’s office dedicates ‘No-Shave November’ to Mount Evans

(back row, l-r) Mount Evans board member Marvin Geisness. Captain Jeff Smith, Undersheriff Bruce Snelling, Captain George Weidler, Sergeant Seth Marquardt, Lieutenant Matt Brown, and Captain Rick Safe. (front, holding check, l-r) Mount Evans President & CEO Charley Shimanski and Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Albers.

(Back row, l-r) Mount Evans board member Marvin Geisness. Captain Jeff Smith, Undersheriff Bruce Snelling, Captain George Weidler, Sergeant Seth Marquardt, Lieutenant Matt Brown, and Captain Rick Safe. (Front, holding check, l-r) Mount Evans President & CEO Charley Shimanski and Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Albers.

Nearly a dozen men of the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office put their best face forward last month, laying down their razors and picking up a pretty penny for Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice.

The occasion was No-Shave November, a national campaign that turns fruitful follicles into free-flowing philanthropy and a win-win proposition that relieves participants of the daily annoyance of shaving while helping to relieve stretched nonprofit budgets.

“Nationally, ‘No-Shave November’ is usually about helping cancer organizations, but we decided to do it for Mount Evans,” explained Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Albers. “They’re an important resource for the Clear Creek community.”

Indeed, for a county with no doctor in residence, Mount Evans’ long list of essential services often means the difference between doing better and doing without for many of Clear Creek’s roughly 9,000 souls. The way Albers and his bushy band saw it, dedicating their muttonchops, Vandykes and assorted chin-curtains to Mount Evans was simply repaying past kindnesses.

“They’ve helped several of our deputies and their families, and they were there for my wife’s father,” said Albers. “Mount Evans is near and dear to our hearts.”

Clean-shaven fellows of all ranks laid down $25 apiece for the cause. First they laid down blade and Barbasol. Then they started picking up sponsorships from a county-wide cadre of keen supporters.

“It was Lieutenant Matt Brown and some of the guys in Detention who came up with the idea to do this,” said Undersheriff Bruce Snelling. While Snelling entered the face-race too late to cultivate a profitable crop of whiskers, he was happy to put his money on more fertile fields.

“We also put the challenge out to other departments. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office took it up, and so did the Idaho Springs Police Department, although they chose their own charities.”

On the wonderfully appropriate morning of Colorado Gives Day, Dec. 8, Sheriff Albers invited Mount Evans board member Marvin Geisness and the organization’s president and CEO, Charley Shimanski, to drop by Clear Creek’s county building in Georgetown. Not surprisingly, talk turned to beards.

“In 35 years with this department I’ve never had a beard,” smiled Albers. “I’ll probably never have another one. The last two weeks…well…it just wasn’t me.”

Sheriff Albers’ wife, Joni, is a Clear Creek County Advocate. Joni stood four-square behind No-Shave November and, like her husband, Joni was relieved when her husband finally scraped off a month’s-worth of crumb-catching gold.

“I didn’t like it,” she said. “I thought it looked scruffy.”

With little in the way of ceremony and much in the way of mutual good will and gratitude, Sheriff Albers presented Geisness and Shimansky with a check for $1,000. It’s an impressive sum for so small a department in so small a county, and in Mount Evans’ capable and compassionate hands it will yield untold dividends in help and healing and hope.

“In many cases, Mount Evans is the last resort, or only resort, for people in need,” said Shimanski. “Twenty percent of our clients are uninsured or under-insured, and 25 percent of our budget depends on charitable donations just like this one. This $1,000 gift will go a long way to help us serve the people of Clear Creek County.”

And that’s not just chin-music.

“We and Mount Evans are both dedicated to protecting and serving the community,” said Sheriff Albers, “and I consider it our privilege to support them.

“Mount Evans rocks.”