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Iowa hospital chaplain loses beard for food drive

  • Associated Press
  • June 10, 2014 - 2:40 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa — The chaplain at an Iowa hospital has lost his beard of 32 years after hospital staffers surpassed their food drive goal.

The Rev. Ken Gehling good-naturedly sacrificed his long, white beard Monday in the main lobby at Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa in Mason City.

He had promised to have the beard shaved if Mercy staffers collected more than 750 pounds of food for the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank. The Globe Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/1oQ9bxP ) their total exceeded 800 pounds.

Mason City hair stylist Sue Wyborny cut off Gehling's beard and his mustache.

Sitting down for his shave, Gehling quipped, "It's like the electric chair."

But he was quick to add, "I just feel happy that we got all that food."

After joking with a colleague not to cry, Gehling said it wasn't too big of a loss.

"It will come back," he said.

© 2014 Star Tribune