GARNER | When Jerry Meyers, known to friends and family as "Scaryjerry," was approached by his longtime friend Ole Flaten two years ago about helping run a event to benefit cancer patients in and around Garner, he was all ears.
"I've known Ole for probably 30 years," said Meyers, 42, of Osage. "He knows I'm a big talker and stuff and he asked me to help out ... and I said, 'Hell yea, I'll do it.'"
Meyers and Flaten are two of the main organizers at the third annual "Dying of Ole's Beard" auction, hosted at Mat's Place in Garner. It is scheduled for this Saturday at 7 p.m.
Meyers, the auctioneer and host for the event, said various items have been auctioned off in the past, ranging from handmade wooden signs, video game consoles, liquor and sweatshirts. Local businesses all pitch in and donate what they can, he added.
Organizers said that money, along with revenue generated from a dinner hosted at the bar, is spent on gift cards—usually toward gas and groceries—that are distributed to local families affected by cancer.
Tammy Lenox, owner of Mat's Place, said the event has grown since it started, from helping 20 or so people the first year to more than 30 last year.
"When it's all done ... the phone calls, the people coming in, it means a lot to them that people are caring," said Lenox, 48, about the families they've helped.
Along with the auction, the other highlight of the event is Ole Flaten, who volunteers to have his beard dyed pink in honor of breast cancer awareness.
"It stinks, it smells really bad," said Flaten, 40, of Klemme. "But it's only one day out of the year."
Flaten, a equipment operator, said he feels obligated to give back to the community given one of his previous jobs.
"I was a volunteer fireman, so I had to do something to give back to the community when I stopped doing that," he said.
The event is sponsored by Mat's Place, Corn Fed Country, "Scaryjerry" and Signs and Designs by Liz in Garner.
Flaten said Elizabeth Dice, owner of Signs and Designs, makes and donates shirts, koozies, stickers and flyers for the event.
Meyers, a self-described "professional loudmouth," said the event is invaluable to helping those in need in and around Garner.
"It makes me feel great to know it's staying in the community," he said. "This isn't going to fund some corporate CEOss third or fourth home. This is going straight from our hands back into the community."