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Colonial Elementary School teacher gets a trim

Colonial Elementary School teacher gets a trim

Things got a little hairy in Colonial Elementary School teacher George Washinko’s classroom May 16th, when he allowed one of his students to shave off his facial fuzz as part of a fundraising effort called Beards for Bella. 

Mr. Washinko, a special education teacher, has been growing out his beard since December to raise money for Beats for Bella, a local non-profit with the mission of raising awareness and money to support finding a cure for congenital heart disease. The Beards for Bella cause was a special one to Mr. Washinko, who participated to support his son, who has a heart murmur, and also to support his student Bella Borkowski, who was born with a congenital heart defect and is the fundraiser’s namesake.

It was only fitting to have Bella trim the beard, since she has been helping out with this type of task since she was very young. Beards for Bella started as a family tradition but became an official fundraiser in 2016 as Bella was preparing to have her third surgery. This year, the organization’s goal is to raise $100,000 through Beards for Bella, a contest where participants are challenged to grow out their facial hair for several months and collect pledges of support. 

While there will be an official beard-measuring event on May 17, Mr. Washinko was unable to attend, so he made an event of his own in his classroom with students and fellow teachers. Everyone crowded around his chair as Bella used a ruler to measure his dark and curly facial hair, which measured 2 and a quarter inches when stretched out. Once the applause died down, the electric razor buzzed on, Bella set to work, calmly and gently cutting through her teacher’s bushy beard with a smile on her face. 

She also took the razor to Mr. Washinko’s head, as classmates giggled and pointed at his somewhat haphazard buzz cut. When class members suggested he also shave off his eyebrows, Mr. Washinko wisely declined. He also managed to leave on a mustache, which prompted spectators to compare him to the video game character Mario.

There is still time to give and bump up Mr. Washinko’s donation total among the other bearded contestants. You can do so by clicking here for his donation page through Sunday, May 19. Read more about Mr. Washinko and Bella by clicking here

Mr. Washinko and Bella use a ruler to measure his beard.
Mr. Washinko closes his eyes as Bella Borkowski uses an electric razor on his beard.
Bella shaves Mr. Washinko's beard
A student gasps as he watches Mr. Washinko get his beard trimmed.
Mr. Washinko and Bella laugh as they near the end of the shaving party.
Mr. Washinko and Bella Borkowski pose for a photo.

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