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Shaving is caring: Big Sticks owner shaves for non-profit

Dave Ouellette helps The Little Buddy Foundation garner $2,500 in donations with his facial hair.

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Badlands Big Sticks owner Dave Ouellette after his first shave in over 10 months. (photo courtesy of Big Sticks)

Badlands Big Sticks owner Dave Ouellette has always had passion for helping others and has always loved when children enjoy their youth. Along with owning an ice cream shop in Dickinson and being the proud owner of the Big Sticks, Ouellette loves seeing the smiles on children's faces and hearing their genuine laughter.

But it was due to the pandemic that Ouellette decided to help children in a special way, shaving his facial hair. Something he never had before until the pandemic began in 2020.

“I’ve been bald for 25 years,” Ouellette said. “Been shaving everyday, never had facial hair in my life.”

Following the announcement of the national lockdown in March, Ouellette began to grow his facial hair for the first time in his life as opposed to having his daily shave.

“It was just kind of a goofy thing that happened last year when COVID shut us all down in March,” he said. “I just wasn’t out in the public anymore anyway so I just kind of quit shaving, and as it continued to grow I just continued to get more lazy and not doing it. And then my kids and my mom told me I had to shave, and so of course I then started to be rebellious and not doing it because they said I had to.”

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However, with the facial growing thicker and wider with each passing day, it began to get more and more difficult for Ouellette to bear.

“I got to the point where it just got to be too much and I didn’t like the feel of it and I don’t like looking 25 years older and all of that stuff, so I said I was ready to be done with it,” he said.

But as opposed to just shaving it off, Ouellette was interested in finding a way to put his long-awaited shave to good use.

“I told my kids, 'If there was any way we could benefit somebody by doing this, it would make it a lot easier for me to shave it off. I would hate to just shave it off and waste it,’” he said.

Eventually, the Big Sticks owner decided to work with The Little Buddy Foundation, a nonprofit organization with the goal of raising money to help give children with missing limbs a chance for a prosthetic.

The Little Buddy Foundation and the Big Sticks announced on Facebook the “Shave the Dave” fundraiser this past summer. The goal was to initially raise $1,500, but Ouellette declared if that goal was met he would raise and donate another $1,000.

The fundraiser was based on not just Ouellette shaving his heavy amount of facial hair, but donors could decide how the owner would shave it. The choices were a mullet, a monkey tail beard or a mohawk.

"Dave and the Badlands Big Stick's support for the Little Buddy Foundation is not only helping us help young children, but it is also helping us build positive relationships within our community. We appreciate everything Dave is doing," Greg Pruitt, the founder of the Little Buddy Foundation, said in a press release.

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So, through the remainder of 2020, Ouellette fought through the itchiness and troublesome facial hair that began to make the beloved owner heavily unrecognizable by his peers, something he described as being “pretty funny.”

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After 10 months of not shaving, the beloved Big Sticks owner became heavily unrecognizable to some of Ouellette's peers, something he found to be "pretty funny." (Photo courtesy of Big Sticks)

Still, Ouellette pushed through for the benefit of the children.

“That’s what it’s really about for me, to help as many people as possible through this organization and through this process that we’re continually working on,” he said. “ And anybody that knows me knows that I am all about the kids.”

Finally, after 10 months of growing pains, the goal of $1,500 was met and along with adding another $1,000 to the foundation, Ouellette was finally able to shave his facial hair -- into a mohawk.

However, with the mohawk unable to be completed, Ouellette saw his facial hair cut into a horseshoe shaped mohawk and a handlebar mustache. Still, the finished product felt like a breeze of refreshment for Ouellette.

“It felt pretty good to look in the mirror and see the amount of years that shaving all of the grey hair off took off from a guy’s looks,” he said. “I still got a little bit hanging on there right now that I’ll keep for a temporary short time but it feels good to pretty much being back to Mr. Clean type.”

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With the fundraiser being a success for the Little Buddy Foundation, Ouellette said he would keep his eyes open for future possibilities to help other organizations in the future.

“I would definitely consider doing something like this in the future if there’s anything I can do,” he said. “I don’t know if it would be for growing my hair out for 10 months again, but if it came to the point to where somebody came to me and asked me to do that and they needed the help and tried to have a fundraiser type of thing, it’s pretty difficult for me to say no to anybody that needs help."

For more information on the Little Buddy Foundation, log onto https://www.littlebuddyfoundation.org .

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Dave Ouellette getting shaved for the first time in 10 months. (photo courtesy of the Big Sticks)

Related Topics: DICKINSON
Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
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