Shave earns thousands for wounded veterans
Six months into growing his beard, Sean Muehlenweg had random people approach him, asking if they could pay to shave it.
After just more than a year of growing out what he calls a great conversation starter, close to 300 people attended the Shave for the Brave event Muehlenweg held Feb. 28 inside The Brass Tap at the Shops at Wiregrass for a chance to shave his whiskers.
The night was dedicated to fundraising for the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that helps out by providing services to military veterans who have been injured physically and/or mentally.
Muehlenweg said $4,500 was raised, all of which went to Wounded Warriors. More than $10,000 worth of goods was donated by local companies to be raffled off.
"It was originally supposed to be a small get-together," Muehlenweg said. "I'm friends with the (general manager) at The Brass Tap and I've known her for a while and she said you can do it over here. It kind of just snowballed."
Muehlenweg, 28, said he was at the eight month mark of growing his beard and was planning to participate in another event, but that was canceled. He gave serious thought to shaving the beard but convinced himself to stick it out for a full year. Then, nearly two months before holding the event at The Brass Tap, he decided he would do his own fundraiser.
Friends of Muehlenweg, who served in the military, told him about some of the things the Wounded Warrior Project has done for their friends.
Muehlenweg was sold.
He said this could become an annual event. Several men who attended and have grown beards said they would continue to grow and groom their facial hair if he decides to make it a multiple beard shave event.