It’s getting hairy around GMC high schools this month, but Lakota East High School Athletic Director Richard Bryant said it’s for a good cause.
The more facial hair grown by Greater Miami Conference high school male staffers, male students and participating residents in the schools’ communities, the more money raised to help the family of Bryant’s friend and former student who died recently.
The “No Shave November” fundraiser was Bryant’s idea after his friend Joe Bertram, 32, died last month from cancer.
Bertram – a Hamilton resident and father of two — was an assistant principal at GMC-member Colerain High School in northern Hamilton County.
“I had the honor of coaching Joe, teaching Joe and being a part of Joe’s adult life as an educator, husband and father. The most difficult aspect about this tragedy is that Joe passed away at the age of 32,” said Bryant, who first met and coached Bertram in middle school football.
From the beginning, Bryant said, “I was very fond of Joe as an amazing young man. And he stood out as a seventh-grader.”
The fundraiser is to help Bertram’s wife, Amy, pay for their young sons’ grade school and college education.
Area women aren’t left out of the “No Shave November.” They can sponsor a male participant for $5 or more. The GMC schools will compete toward which one has raised the most money by the end of the month.
“We’re trying to help someone so we’re not putting parameters on it (the fund raising). If someone wants to just donate money, they can donate money,” said Bryant, who is already sporting a couple of days of facial growth.
Former Lakota Schools Athletic Director Stu Eversole, who is now assistant commissioner for the league, said, “the Greater Miami Conference leadership has used this collaboration as a springboard for heightened awareness for battling cancer and other prominent causes on a very personal level not only within individual GMC buildings but across entire conference.”
“Many of our GMC partners have chosen the Joe Bertram Scholarship Fund as the recipient of the “No Shave November” fund raising efforts, additionally some of our schools have targeted great causes in their own school districts,” said Eversole.
“Bottom line is that our GMC leaders have come together to make a visible statement and commitment in support of some very good causes. By continuing this new “No Shave” tradition, our GMC administrators are not only giving back to others in the community, but are also setting great examples for their student bodies,” he said.
For more information on how to participate or contribute locally, e-mail Bryant at Richard.Bryant@lakotaonline.com
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