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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

No—Shave November - Can Bill Tomoff Also be Santa?

Have you ever heard of No-Shave November? It’s a thing.

No—Shave November is a month-Iong journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness. It’s not for the weak of heart with clean-shaven guys like hubby Bill. He claims he has not missed a day (or two) of shaving his “no shadow” facial hair since he started the ritual when he was in his late teens.

That is until November 1, 2022. He’s 20 days in…

Now I’m putting up with a scraggly salt-and-pepper beard-growing guy. He's getting a bit slap-happy with the ever-itchy beard that he's never had! I think what Bill is doing is remarkable, all in the name of charity, and more specifically, Special Love, Inc., the cancer camps for kids (Camp Fantastic) and a separate camp for the siblings (BRASS).

You know Seth Godin (marketing guru) maintains that it is good to keep involved with a tribe in a lot of what we do, where we go, or how we market ourselves in so many ways. Well, the tribe of Cancer Parents to their diagnosed children is not exactly a tribe someone wants to join, like a stamp collector, a corvette enthusiast, or people who love antiques, but the cancer parent tribe is a very important tribe for us. It, frankly, saved our lives back in 1997 when we first went to a Family Weekend. Bill now has taken the opportunity to forgo the shave and raise a few bucks in the Thankful month of November.

Fast forward to this past weekend, when we volunteered for the Special Love Parent Getaway Weekend. Approximately 88 people joined this tribe (our largest turnout since SL started this event in late 1999). Our efforts support many parents amid their children’s treatment and chaotic lives.

Despite the respite, many were desperate to partake in the connections and have fun (as sobering as childhood cancer is, there was much fun, laughter, and dancing—the roaring 1920s was the dinner/dancing theme!). As one would expect, some “newbie” folks were pensive and hesitant before they felt comfortable going all in. I saw the angst, the dark circles under their all-knowing eyes, and the sharing of sad stories. But in all of that, I witnessed an incredible community of people from all walks of life give hugs, a shoulder to cry on, and then enjoy a much-needed weekend away from their frantic lives (Sat. morning to Sun. morning).

The old guard welcomed the newcomers with open arms and open hearts. A beautiful act.

I am trying to describe how my heart was full all weekend. The underlying tone was, “we understand, and you are not alone.” Not much was off-limits to discuss, bringing us closer as individuals and as a group. I hope this weekend continues for many years or until all childhood cancer find cures that these programs will no longer be needed.

But until then, we will do our part to #helpothers. Bill has made the commitment to No—Shave for 10 more days. He is collecting monies for his beard-growing efforts earmarked for Special Love and its programs like the Parent Getaway Weekend. I hope distressed parents can be pampered and go home refreshed to fight on with their sick child and their families.

Bill has shared the link below to his social media, but I wanted to share it here on my blog. If you'd like to participate, click here:

Every dollar matters! Thank you for reading! And what about that beard? Can Bill also be Santa? If not, he certainly is Manufacturing Sunshine for others!




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