John’s Barber Shop Annual Benefit for Hope House
March 4, 2011
By Mary Pechar
Officer Mark Wiesemann, Nick Swearngin and Merle Bowers
Tribune Photo/Fred Poese
The time is rapidly approaching for John’s Barber Shop’s Annual Auction for Hope House. While the event has a variety of exciting items, the crowd favorite is always the auctioning of the “Heads.” No these are not stuffed, nor are they shrunken. These heads are seen frequently on the streets of Lee’s Summit with some pretty familiar faces, beginning with John’s owner Nick Swearngin.
According to Nick, he had wanted to shave his head but his dad, who he worked for always, told him “no, a barber should have hair on his head.” So after buying the business with his father’s retirement, Nick decided at last, he was going to shave his head. However, now it was his wife, Jennie, who frowned on the idea. While Jennie may be passionate about Nick’s hair being on his head, she is even more passionate about her favorite charity. The perfect compromise turned out to be shaving his head to benefit Hope House. So three years ago Nick began auctioning off the opportunity to “shave the barber’s head.” He has coerced a variety of other heads to join him along the way.
LS Police Officer Mark Wiesemann, well known for his leadership role in the Torch Run and Polar Plunge, both benefiting Special Olympics and Merle Bowers, retired Raytown school teacher who is an agent for Carpenter and Company Insurance in KC, and a freelance sports writer/advertising salesperson for LS Tribune will both be offering up their locks. “It is the least I can do for a worthy cause,” commented Merle, “and it will be the cheapest haircut I’ve ever received.” Actually, anyone wishing to donate their head should contact Nick at the Barber Shop, 816.524.1711.
An anonymous donor has upped the ante this year, donating $100 to see Nick come into the auction as a blond courtesy of Donna Knight and Dixie at Ray’s Beauty Shop. A $150 would get you your choice of colors but pink will probably cost at least $200. If you want to see Nick in another color, call him at 816.835.0345 with your bid. The dye will be cast on Monday the 7th at 2:30 p.m., so don’t wait to enter the fray.
“Hope House is a fantastic organization and the more you know about them the more your heart longs to help them,” Swearngin said. “I am really grateful for the support the silent auction is receiving, Downtown merchants have really stepped up and both the Royals and the Chiefs have donated items. My favorite is probably an autographed, framed photograph of Len Dawson in the huddle.”
The Auction is Saturday, March 12 at John’s Barber Shop, 217 SE Douglas. The Silent Auction begins at 3 p.m. and the ‘Heads’ start at 4 p.m. Hope House services form a safety net of prevention, education and support for more than 10,000 victims of abuse every year.