OGDEN -- The clippers buzzed as an audience crowded inside the Standard-Examiner lobby Monday to witness the great hair-off.
Charlie Trentleman won -- or lost -- the contest between himself and fellow columnist Mark Saal in a United Way fundraiser.
A month ago, Saal pitted his flowing locks against Trentleman's beard to see who could raise the most money for the charity. The columnists asked the community to donate money to determine who should have to sit in the barber's chair.
By the Oct. 28 deadline, the fundraiser took in about $14,500, with most of that money earmarked for the beard to go.
"I think what got me was all my so-called friends who got me because they wanted to see my chin," Trentleman said.
Trentleman had worn the beard since 1975 so when it came time to shave it off he entrusted his longtime barber, Jim Oborn from Cellar Barbers in Ogden, with the clippers.
"It feels weird," Trentleman said after the shave. "My chin is colder. I reach up because I'm so used to feeling hair."
Don Hoaglin attended Monday's event to see the results. He donated to save Trentleman's chin hair.
"I wanted Mark's hair to come off," Hoaglin said. "We stick together, us guys with beards."
Part of Hoaglin's efforts did pay off in the end. Upon the announcement of Trentleman's name, Saal's fist flew up in victory, but in the end his Ben Franklin hair-do was not safe.
Tom Hardy, owner of Thomas Hardy Salon in Ogden, attended to cut his hair in case the tally went in Saal's favor.
Since it would have been a waste to send Hardy away, a last-minute collection circled the room with people donating to cut Saal's hair as well.
"People think I sold out," Saal said, "but it was like 400 more bucks that they came up with right there."
All of that money will go to help the United Way of Northern Utah and the 61 agencies it helps.
"Thank goodness for the newspaper," United Way of Northern Utah President Bob Hunter said. "They've been big supporters of us for years and years and years."
The shearing was part of the paper's three-pronged approach to raise money for the United Way, which also included other community leaders to raise money for the charity and an upcoming community food drive to benefit Northern Utah food banks.
This event managed to raise money in a simple, clean, fun way from people that perhaps would not have donated to the charity.
"To me, this is money that United Way would never have received otherwise," said Jennifer Thorpe, United Way committee member for the Standard-Examiner.
And much to the enjoyment of their wives, who made personal donations to the cause, there is less scraggly hair today in the Standard-Examiner newsroom.