Northgate Pastor John Keller gets some grooming.
Submitted photos and press release:
Beginning in October of 2019, Northgate Pastor John Keller began a process many of our readers can relate to. He grew a beard. After an eight-month progression and the absence of winter temperatures, Pastor Keller made the decision to potentially lose a part of him which he had grown fondly of.
As a member of the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army in Batavia, Keller put a wager on the community and Northgate congregants through Facebook to raise money in exchange for a fresh shave.
The original post asked for the community to donate $500 to The Salvation Army of Batavia. Unbeknownst to him, the community rallied around his fundraising efforts and raised that amount in only an hour and a half.
Quick on his feet, Keller amended the goal to $1,000, saying that if he reached the new amount, he would let his three daughters shave his beard. Once again, the congregants and community spoke. Three hours after the original post, the total had surpassed $1,000.
Over the course of the five-day fundraiser, 53 people donated for a combined total of $2,215.
This financial fundraiser will remain local and will help to fight food scarcity in Genesee County.
Keller said “Truthfully, a beard that long with a mask and the higher temperatures just wasn’t comfortable. So, I was probably going to shave it anyway, but I thought we could have a little fun with it and raise some money for a great cause. I had no idea that people would respond in such an awesome way! Our local Salvation Army is so well run and does such an incredible job loving and serving our community. I’m so glad to have been able to have a part in helping them do that great work!”
Northgate church continues to partner with The Salvation Army of Batavia, as they have for years. During the COVID-19 closures, they have hosted local food collections each Monday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at their North Campus (8160 Bank Street Road).
They have also teamed up with The Salvation Army and Foodlink to conduct drive-thru food distributions every other Wednesday. This past Wednesday, they were able to distribute food to 413 vehicles that passed through their parking lot.
If you are interested in assisting the local community, food deliveries can be delivered during the hours listed above, or directly to The Salvation Army during their hours of operation.
Below, Pastor Keller before and after.
Bottom, photo from this Wednesday's food giveaway at Northgate church featuring featuring fresh meat, produce and dairy products.