As Adam Schumm sat outside his home, he thanked everyone who donated to the Hairless for the Homeless fundraiser.
That included the $5,020 donated to Anchor House Family Assistance Center and Pantry in Seymour in his name, which was part of the overall $23,939 raised by the 11 participants.
Since he buzzed past the $5,000 mark, Schumm agreed to have his head shaved. Each participant had to raise at least $1,000 to be in the safe zone, but Schumm chose to be a good sport and have his head shaved anyway.
Two of his daughters glided an electric razor through his hair, giggling as they watched his hair fall to the ground.
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The head shaving was captured on video due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In recent years, the fundraiser culminated with head shaving during the Seymour Oktoberfest. That event, however, was canceled, so Anchor House officials chose to go virtual with this year’s fundraiser.
Even though the participants didn’t top the record of $36,750 raised in 2019, Anchor House Executive Director Megan Cherry is proud of everyone’s efforts.
"We knew going into the fundraiser this year that we were up against some challenges with the potential for families and businesses to have been hit hard financially, to not being able to have the actual event because of COVID," she said.
"With all of that considered, I am still very proud of what we were able to pull off," she said. "We did have a record amount last year; however, despite the challenges that COVID presented to us, we are still very proud of raising $23,939."
Hairless for the Homeless was Anchor House’s only fundraiser for 2020 because of the pandemic. The nonprofit organization’s golf outing that usually brings in around $24,000 was canceled.
Hairless for the Homeless went through September and ended Oct. 2. Along the way, Cherry shared the standings and videos on Anchor House’s Facebook page.
On Monday, a video was posted to share the final results. It included Schumm and fellow candidates Zach Thompson, Craig Flinn, Kevin Heilman and Roger Wessel getting their heads shaved.
Standing inside his home, Thompson recorded his head shaving on his cellphone.
"I was able to reach the full amount. Everyone that donated, thank you very much; however, in the spirit of everything," he said before clicking on the electric razor, "here we go."
Thompson brought in $1,075.
Next on the video was Flinn. As the bounty, he would only get his head shaved if $2,000 was raised on his behalf. He raised $2,240, so recently, his boss, Seymour Fire Chief Brad Lucas, started the head shaving, and local stylist Jessica Gross finished it off.
"Thank you for your donation," Flinn said before the razor was clicked on. "Your money will go to a great cause, and thank you for Anchor House."
Heilman also upped the ante, agreeing to shave his head and beard if he raised more than $2,500. He wound up with $2,588.
"I appreciate all of the donations and everybody that donated to Anchor House," he said. "Thank you very much."
Finally, Wessel fulfilled the end of his deal on getting his head shaved even though he well exceeded the minimum, collecting $3,025. Cherry manned the electric razor first, and then Wessel’s wife, Tonya, helped.
"I want to thank all of the people who donated in my name and in the names of the other participants, as well," Wessel said. "God bless you all for your donations, and keep Anchor House in mind for any future donations or food drives. It’s a great organization. I’m proud to support them."
The video ended showing pictures of the other candidates and their totals: Bob Cherepski, $1,191; Don Waldman, $1,300; Sasha Norman, $1,760; Angie Mellencamp, $1,650; Ryan Cherry, $2,050; and Dustin Steward, $2,040.
Megan Cherry expressed her appreciation to the 11 participants.
"From the bottom of my heart, thank you," she said. "I truly understand the limitations that everyone has when it comes to available time, and I am very grateful for the time and effort everyone put forth to make this a successful fundraiser. They were all fantastic and worked hard for the cause."
She also thanked the donors.
"It means so much to Anchor House to know that so many people and businesses alike are so supportive of our organization," Cherry said. "We are thankful for those who were still able to donate despite the challenges we have faced this year. Our mission of ‘Fostering families’ independence while feeding our community’ does not happen without the amazing community support we receive."
All of the money raised will be put toward the services Anchor House offers through its family homeless shelter and community food pantry.
In 2019, the organization provided a home to 48 families and 87 children through the shelter and served more than 4,000 families and provided more than 234,000 meals through the pantry.
This year, Cherry has had to shift the services because of the pandemic. Now more there ever, there is uncertainty with people in the community about where their next meal may come from, she said.
"We have seen the needs change over the last several months, and we are happy to be able to continue to be there for families in need as we all navigate this uncertain time together," she said. "Our mission is to do everything we can to help meet the needs of those families that are in need of that extra support."
Even though Hairless for the Homeless is over, Anchor House is always in need of monetary donations, food and supply donations and volunteers, Cherry said.
"Please reach out to us to see how you can get involved and help us meet the needs of our community," she said.
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Anchor House Family Assistance Center and Pantry is at 250 S. Vine St., Seymour.
Staffed shelter hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Friday.
The food pantry is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays and from noon to 5 p.m. Thursdays.
For information or to volunteer, call 812-522-9308 or visit anchorhouseshelter.org or facebook.com/ahfamilyassistancecenter.