A local veteran known by his friends as "a bearded man" is shaving his facial hair and getting a "high and tight" haircut to raise money for the Bartlett Veterans Memorial.
Lifelong Bartlett resident James Dexter served in the Illinois Army National Guard from 1999 to 2007 and was deployed for more than a year in Iraq.
Now 30 years old and back in his hometown, Dexter said he wanted to do something fun to help with fundraising for the second phase of the village's veterans memorial. He said the memorial is a special place for him, as there are bricks dedicated to people dear to him, including a military friend who died while they were deployed.
"I was just looking for a way to reinvigorate fundraising for the memorial," he said. "With a long-term project it's difficult to keep the momentum going."
Dexter created a Facebook page stating that if he raised $150 in donations before the Bartlett Veterans Memorial Black Tie event on Jan. 26 he would shave his face and don his dress blues at the event.
Dexter was shocked to have raised the money in only 26 hours. He decided to up the goal to $300, at which point he would also get a haircut like the one he had while in the service. He reached it in just a few days.
The shave will happen on Jan. 24 and be documented through pictures that will be posted on Facebook.
"I hope people see these little fun things that can be done (to fundraise)," Dexter said, adding that he hope it inspires others to do unique fundraisers for the memorial. "This was kind of a way for me to really do something, more than just write a check."
Donations can be made by clicking here.