ShareThis Page

Keisel's 'Shear Da Beard' event expected to top $300,000 for childrens' charity

| Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, 9:12 p.m.

Former Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel on Monday allowed his famously overgrown beard to be snipped away, chunk by chunk, by his celebrity friends and former teammates in the name of charity.

For the seventh year in a row.

“It's amazing to me to see all my friends and people coming out to support such a strange event, but an event that really means a lot to me and to a lot of kids around here,” said Keisel, 38, who played with the Steelers from 2002 to 2014 and continues to make Pittsburgh his home.

“Shear Da Beard,” held on Monday night at Jergel's Rhythm Grill in Warrendale, benefits the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. With the money raised Monday night, organizers expected the total raised since the first event in 2011 to top $300,000.

Fans, many dressed in Steelers jerseys, were lined up prior to the doors opening at 6 p.m., and by 6:30 the crowd was quickly filling in the space in front of the stage. The event started shortly after 7 p.m. Keisel was joined on stage by friends including: WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels; former teammates James Harrison, Heath Miller, David DeCastro, Chris Hoke and Cam Heyward; defensive line coach John Mitchell; head coach Mike Tomlin; and the Penguins' HBK line of Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel.

Miller's presence was unexpected for Keisel, who said his little daughter came to him at home earlier in the day and said they had a surprise for him.

“In walks Heath Miller, and I haven't seen Heath for a long time,” Keisel said. “It was emotional.”

Michaels, a three-time world wrestling champion, and Keisel became friends during the Penguins' playoff run last season, during which time Michaels said he was overwhelmed by the city's fans. Coming back to town for the event wasn't much of a negotiation.

“(Keisel) asked, I said yes,” Michaels said.

Also joining Keisel on stage early in the evening were two young cancer patients, 6-year-old Jimmy and 15-year-old Sean.

“That's what this is about,” Keisel told the crowd. “It's fun to see teammates and friends and some great beards, but that's what it's about. Coming together and doing something positive, showing these young people in the building that it's important to give back and help your neighbor.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.