For the past nine years Brett Keisel has done what nobody thought was possible.
He found a way to have people come out in droves to watch his beard get shaved off.
Keisel will do it once again this year, hosting the 10th – and final - Shear Da Beard on Thursday, Feb. 13 at Jergel's Rhythm Grille in the North Hills when he has the legendary beard snipped off to benefit cancer programs at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
"It was a harder decision than I expected making this the final one," said Keisel. "I thought when I was doing this, I would maybe take a break at 10 years. As I look in the mirror today it's surreal. We have been doing this and growing it and helping Children's Hospital. I think it's great to put an exclamation point on it and go out with a bang.
"I am always going to be involved with Children's Hospital, bearded or not. They're always going to be someone I am going to try and help and fundraise for, try and make a difference for just because of how much they have taught me through these last 10 years. I could never repay them everything they have shown me, the strength they have shown me and the fight they have shown me.
"It's awesome to be doing it again."
Keisel will bring in former teammates and coaches to take snips at the beard again, and you never know who is going to show up to be a part of the fun.
And the entertainment will be off the charts. Canadian country music star Brett Kissel, who won two straight Male Artist of the Year and Fans' Choice awards at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards, will perform for the first time. And don't get confused … it's Brett Kissel and not Brett Keisel who is the country sensation. The Ghost Hounds, a rock band with Pittsburgh roots that Thomas Tull, a member of the Steelers ownership group, started and is part of. And what would Shear Da Beard be without Pittsburgh's own Donnie Iris on stage.
"It's going to be fun," said Keisel. "That is the hard part about ending it, knowing each year it becomes better, more people become aware, more people support it. Each year we have been able to grow as the beard has come back each year. It's been amazing to be a part of this."
To purchase tickets or donate to Shear Da Beard to help the cancer programs at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, click here.