It began as simple conversation between a husband and wife about needing a haircut; much like many other households after Illinois’ stay at home order shut barbershops and hair salons down. What isn’t so typical is that it quickly evolved into a discussion about a fundraiser.
The result? Nick Ninedorf, an Edward Jones financial advisor in Batavia, posted a fundraiser to his personal Facebook page: “Quarantine Haircut for Charity: Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry.” Within three days, every goal was hit, with donations quickly topping $10,000. Nick’s wife, Karly, will cut his hair live on Facebook at noon on Sunday, April 19. In addition to the video, Nick promises to wear the haircut for a week and take a photoshoot of his new style.
However, this will not be a ‘regular’ haircut, according to the fundraiser’s explanation. “Here’s the twist: the style of my haircut will depend on the total amount of money we raise,” Nick posted. A photo of the various levels accompanied this description:
- $0-$999: My normal, boring Financial Advisor haircut
- $1,000-$2,499: Macklemore haircut
- $2,500-$4,999: Flat top
- $5,000-$7,499: Bowl cut
- $7,500-$9,999: Mohawk
- $10,000+: The Costanza
Nick says he was hoping some of his friends would talk him out of the idea after he half-jokingly proposed the fundraiser to Karly. After texting several of his friends, one said, “Look, if you’re on the fence, how about this; I will commit to the first $1,000.” According to Nick, this is what persuaded him. So, why choose the Batavia Interfaith Pantry and Clothes Closet?
“We chose the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry because I love this town,” explained Nick. “I grew up in Batavia (graduating from Batavia High School in 2005) and came back to start a business here, so I wanted to give back to a Batavia Organization. The food pantry is something that we all can get behind and they need us now more than ever.
“I had forgotten about how far money goes for food pantries,” he continued. “When the director, Eileen, reminded me that they can get $8 of food for $1, I was so happy that we could help make such an impact.”
Eileen Pasero, executive director of the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry, was surprised and thankful to learn about Nick’s fundraiser. She introduced herself with a comment on Nick’s fundraiser event page, “I am speechless (and this is quite a feat). Thank you, thank you, thank you for hosting this fundraiser. You are going to help feed so many of our neighbors!”
Acknowledging the fundraiser ‘officially,’ Eileen wrote:
“We are so grateful to Nick, not only for raising an astounding $10,000+ for the Food Pantry, but also for raising awareness of our mission. His sense of humor and willing spirit bring some much-needed comic relief during this challenging time — and his ‘hair sacrifice’ will go a long way towards helping people in our community who are facing economic uncertainty and food insecurity. We can’t wait to see his new ‘do!”
Nick and his wife, Karly, have supported the food pantry in the past. A year ago, they donated 1,000 diapers for their daughter’s first birthday. Nick’s office also does an annual food drive at Thanksgiving. Karly acknowledged that the fundraiser was imagined and propelled by a spirit of fun.
“What’s been happening globally is stressful on all of us in both big and small ways,” stated Karly Ninedorf. “It feels great to do something that reminds us we still have control over helping one another, and that we still have the opportunity to have fun.
“I am not looking forward to cutting Nick’s hair – well, mostly looking at it (the results) for more than a week – but it will be a hilarious and welcome reminder of human generosity.”
Nick Ninedorf is a member and past president of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, a member of the Geneva Lions Club and previously served on the board for the Tri City Health Partnership. Karly Ninedorf is a contracted counselor with Prairie Wellness Counseling Center in Batavia. They are parents to a two-year old daughter and will welcome their second child in late May.