Photos of fundraising efforts provided by Wayne Able

ALTON – Many letter carriers for the United States Postal Service in the Riverbend area have been sporting beards and mustaches during the winter months.

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That facial hair does keep them warm during the frigid months, but National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch #309 Sergeant at Arms Wayne Able said its removal will go to an even greater good. NALC members from across the nation donate often to the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), and the local branch is no exception. On April 25, Able and his fellow local letter carriers will get their facial hair shaved by stylists from Something Else Salon at the Alton VFW Post #1308. Raffle tickets will be sold to raise money to send to the St. Louis Chapter of the MDA.

The union has already raised nearly $3,000 for their cause through a softball game held against Teamsters #810, who are United Postal Service (UPS) drivers. Unfortunately for the letter carriers, they lost that game, but the money was raised all the same.

“I hate to say it, but they won,” Able said. “We played them in basketball, though, and we won that one.”

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The money raised from the softball game and the upcoming raffle and shaving event will go toward helping kids suffering from muscular dystrophy go to a summer camp at Pine Crest Campgrounds outside Farmington, Missouri. Because of an influx of donations throughout the year, the children and their families get to enjoy the services of that camp without having to spend a single penny.

At least one child afflicted with the condition will be present at the April 25 event. He is a part of a union member's family. Able said the young kid will receive a fake beard and mustache so he can join the 10-12 bearded letter carriers getting a clean shave for summer.

“He may have a friend with it coming from Rosewood Heights, too, but we're waiting to hear back on that,” Able said. “If he comes, we have a fake beard and mustache for him, too.”

Anyone who wants to donate to this cause that was not able to attend the softball game or make the event later this month can send their donations to the MDA at 13801 Riverport Drive Suite 303, Marion Heights, Missouri 63043.

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