A hair-raising gesture against cancer; Local marketing firm joined No Shave November

COURTESY PHOTOLed by company president Andy Kelley, the men of the Effective Student Marketing team in Andover participated in No Shave November to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

The president and staff of Effective Student Marketing of Andover put down their razors last month in support of the American Cancer Society’s No Shave November.

The men on the Effective Student Marketing team spent the month growing out their beards and raising funds to bring attention to a disease for which treatment often causes hair loss.

Company president Andy Kelley embraced the idea of his marketing firm, which specializes in digital strategies for higher education, financially supporting the fight against cancer, according to a release. But he was initially a bit unsure about his ability to sport the facial hair.

“As an entrepreneur, there are no challenges that I am afraid to tackle,” Kelley said in the release. “However, I have to admit that growing a beard is one limitation I have. There are at least two males in my office who can shave in the morning and have a full beard by lunch. I swear that one of them grew half a beard during a one-on-one meeting.”

But Kelley was soon fully on board with the initiative.

“I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t been affected by cancer,” he said. “My sister and my wife’s sister are both battling cancer right now. It’s a horrible illness and I’m happy to contribute.”

No Shave November began as a Facebook page in 2009 with fewer than 50 fans. Today, the nonprofit has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, teaming up with the American Cancer Society to educate people about the disease and raise funds for research and treatment.

Kelley kept supporters updated on his beard’s progress via Twitter, @AndyWKelley. He said he was happy to support what he called a good cause.

“I believe in creating awareness about cancer,” he said during the initiative. “And at the end of the day, the worse my beard looks, the sharper I’ll have to dress.”

For more on Kelley and his firm, visit www.effectivestudentmarketing.com.

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