The faces of the Boston Fire Department look a whole lot different today.
Boston Fire Commissioner Joe Finn and Commissioner of Inspectional Services William “Buddy” Christopher shaved their staple mustaches on Thursday in support of the TK Fund, which was set up to support Boston firefighter Eddie Kelly’s 4-year-old son, Tommy, who was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer.
“It’s just a way to support the Kelly family,” said Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald. “Anyone who’s seen a child go through an aggressive cancer treatment, people feel helpless. ... One thing people can do is donate money to those who are fighting cancer.”
Finn and Christopher originally made a bet that whoever raised less money for Tommy would have to shave their ’stache, MacDonald said. But they quickly realized they could instead pool their funds — which totaled to $10,000 — and agreed to both lose their characteristic facial hair.
About 50 people, including a rambunctious Tommy, also known as “TK,” gathered Thursday at Florian Hall in Dorchester to watch the two lose their mustaches in solidarity with the fundraiser, MacDonald said.
“Finn said his three adult children have never seen him without a mustache ... and estimated he’s had it for something like 35 years,” MacDonald said. “And Christoper said he’s had his for about 20 years, although it’s probably been longer.”
At the fundraiser, commissioners presented the Kellys with the $10,000 check that the fund’s committee will decide how to spend, along with the Inspectional Services Department that presented the committee with a check for $5,000, MacDonald said.
“It was a comical, nice little event. They were both good sports, and raised some substantial money, which was nice,” MacDonald said. “The bottom line is that [the event] is just letting the Kelly family know that they have support for TK.”
This is TK’s second shaving-related fund-raiser, which also raises money for cancer treatment and research. In August, hundreds turned out for the Great Buzz Off for TK, where dozens of people had their heads shaved in solidarity with Tommy.
Another fund-raiser is scheduled for late November, MacDonald said.
Kiera Blessing can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Trisha Thadani can be reached email@example.com.