Man shaves beard after 41 years, raises over $16,000 for charity

Watch: Man Shaves Beard for First Time in 41 Years

Mike Chase first started growing his beard in 1973 and hasn't shaved once until ... now. Friends, family and co-workers donated thousands to a charity of his choice to see him beardless for the first time in decades, raising a grand total of $16,020.

FOX17 reports:

Friends, family and co-workers gathered at the Pepsi Center inside Fifth Third Ballpark to witness something most had never seen before December 2. Mike Chase, Vice President of Sales at Eikenhout, was shaving off his beard for the first time in 41 years.

The event was the finale of a fundraising plan for the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids' Inner City Youth Baseball/Softball program that began when a couple of Eikenhout employees asked Chase how much it would cost to shave his famous beard.


"I grew my beard in December of 1973. I was married in August of 1973, and by Christmas that year I had a beard," Mike said.

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Man shaves beard for first time in 41 years
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"He had big lamb chops in high school. Then he grew the mustache. It was like he just was taking one swipe on the chin, and it was like connect the dots, let it go," his wife Carol Chase said.

"No one has ever seen him without a beard," director of operations Sean Scully said. "So ... the employees, family and friends, everyone wanted to see that beard come off."

On December 2nd, a bit over a month after the challenge kicked off, Mike's family, friends and co-workers gathered for the big shave-off -- and to see how much was raised for charity.

After the reveal of a whole new man, there was the reveal of how much was raised. The initial goal of $5,000 was well surpassed, and Mike was blown away.

"$16,000 for a beard? Give me a break! That just tells you something about our community and our friends and people that I work with," Mike said.

"I truly don't recognize him," Carol said when she was finally able to speak. "He looks like his brothers and his dad! He looks good, but I'll be happy to have him grow it back."

Speaking of beards, check out these wild ones:
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Beard competition
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Man shaves beard after 41 years, raises over $16,000 for charity
Former World Beard Champion, Gerhard Knapp, from Germany, poses ahead of competition at the third annual National Beard and Moustache Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 11, 2012. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Germany's Pia Weis prepares her husband Hans-Peter for the Full Beard Freestyle event ahead of the World Beard and Moustache Championships in the northern city of Trondheim, on May 15, 2011. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 17: John Beardman of the Australian Bushrangers poses during a media call ahead of the World Beard and Moustache Championships at Bonython Park on May 17, 2009 in Adelaide, Australia. The World Beard and Moustache Championships will be held at Anchorage, Alaska on May 23, 2009. The competition features a variety of categories from the Dali moustache to the full beard freestyle. (Photo by James Knowler/Getty Images)
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 17: Nathaniel Beard of the Australian Bushrangers poses during a media call ahead of the World Beard and Moustache Championships at Bonython Park on May 17, 2009 in Adelaide, Australia. The World Beard and Moustache Championships will be held at Anchorage, Alaska on May 23, 2009. The competition features a variety of categories from the Dali moustache to the full beard freestyle. (Photo by James Knowler/Getty Images)
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 17: Facey McStubblington of the Australian Bushrangers poses during a media call ahead of the World Beard and Moustache Championships at Bonython Park on May 17, 2009 in Adelaide, Australia. The World Beard and Moustache Championships will be held at Anchorage, Alaska on May 23, 2009. The competition features a variety of categories from the Dali moustache to the full beard freestyle. (Photo by James Knowler/Getty Images)
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 17: (L-R) The Australian Bushrangers, Nathaniel Beard, John Beardman, Facey Mc Stubblington and Johann Beardraven pose during a media call ahead of the World Beard and Moustache Championships at Bonython Park on May 17, 2009 in Adelaide, Australia. The World Beard and Moustache Championships will be held at Anchorage, Alaska on May 23, 2009. The competition features a variety of categories from the Dali moustache to the full beard freestyle. (Photo by James Knowler/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: A competitor poses for a photograph whilst competing during the World Beard and Moustache Championships at the Brighton Centre on September 1, 2007 in Brighton, England. The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial event participated by beard and moustache wearers from all over the world. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: A competitor poses for a photograph whilst competing during the World Beard and Moustache Championships at the Brighton Centre on September 1, 2007 in Brighton, England. The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial event participated by beard and moustache wearers from all over the world. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: Contestants look on as they congregate for a group photograph during the World Beard and Moustache Championships at the Brighton Centre on September 1, 2007 in Brighton, England. The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial event participated by beard and moustache wearers from all over the world. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: A contestant prepares his freestyle beard during the World and Moustache Championships at the Brighton Centre on September 1, 2007 in Brighton, England. The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial event participated by beard and moustache wearers from all over the world. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: The winner of the Natural Full Beard category celebrates victory during the World Beard and Moustache Championships at the Brighton Centre on September 1, 2007 in Brighton, England. The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial event participated by beard and moustache wearers from all over the world. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: The winner of the Partial Beards Freestyle category celabrates victory during the World Beard and Moustache Championships at the Brighton Centre on September 1, 2007 in Brighton, England. The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial event participated by beard and moustache wearers from all over the world. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: The winner of the Sideburns Freestyle Category celebrates victory during the World and Moustache Championships at the Brighton Centre on September 1, 2007 in Brighton, England. The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial event participated by beard and moustache wearers from all over the world. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: A contestant displays his facial hair prior to the World and Moustache Championships at the Brighton Centre on September 1, 2007 in Brighton, England. The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial event participated by beard and moustache wearers from all over the world. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: A beard and moustache contestants parades through Brighton Streets prior to the World and Moustache Championships at the Brighton Centre on September 1, 2007 in Brighton, England. The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial event participated by beard and moustache wearers from all over the world. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: A contestant displays their moustache prior to the World and Moustache Championships at the Brighton Centre on September 1, 2007 in Brighton, England. The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial event participated by beard and moustache wearers from all over the world. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: A contestant displays his facial hair prior to the World and Moustache Championships at the Brighton Centre on September 1, 2007 in Brighton, England. The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial event participated by beard and moustache wearers from all over the world. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: Former Beard World Champion Gerhard Knapp displays his beard prior to the World and Moustache Championships at the Brighton Centre on September 1, 2007 in Brighton, England. The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial event participated by beard and moustache wearers from all over the world. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: A contestant displays his facial hair prior to the World and Moustache Championships at the Brighton Centre on September 1, 2007 in Brighton, England. The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial event participated by beard and moustache wearers from all over the world. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
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