'Weird Beards' impacts Winchester community by sharing stories, raising cancer awareness

John Fox and Kim Violette participated, have both been touched by cancer

WINCHESTER, Va. - Inside Greenwood Grocery you'll find business owner, John Fox.

This year, he was a co-captain for "Weird Beards," a nonprofit that does a spin-off of "No-Shave November" to raise awareness and money for cancer research.

"We see it all the time, be it friends [or] customers that come in the store. I hear about it constantly with somebody's who's gotten a diagnosis, and it's just one of those things. It's really horrible, but it is there, and it touches just about everyone around here," said Fox.

Even Fox himself lost his sister in-law to breast cancer in 2015. She was 29 years-old when she was diagnosed.

"That was really tough to see," said Fox.

This year's "Weird Beard" campaign efforts were dedicated to Kim Violette, a cancer survivor.

"I was touched and just beyond honored," said Violette.

She was diagnosed with cancer in July, and at first, the doctors told her to not be worried and to wait it out.

"I pushed passed them and said, 'I'm not a wait and see girl,' I said let's go ahead and get the biopsy done. We did, and we found out right there on the spot in July that it was Papillary Thyroid Cancer," said Violette.

In November, the cancer was removed, showing the importance of being your own advocate.

"Follow your gut. If something doesn't feel right, it isn't," said Violette.

Through singing, laughing and growing out beards, "Weird Beards" raised about $3,000 for the Valley Health Cancer Research Center.

But the real question is between the three teams, Fox's Destroyers, Team Wolverines and Team Juicy, and who won!

"Fox's Destroyers won. Take that Jay and Rich!" said Fox.

The "Weird Beards" campaign got twice the amount of donations this year compared to last year.


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