PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A special event next week will bring out a lot of Steelers past and present – and you are invited, too. It’s a rather curious, but always-packed annual gathering.

It is a public act of grooming.

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The hair-lowering ritual known as “Shear Da Beard” is now in its sixth year. Retired Steelers defensive lineman Brett Keisel – the creature who gives life to the “Da Beard” – reluctantly sacrifices his glorious facial hair each winter. Reluctantly, because he knows how good it looks.

“I really like the way I look with the beard,” says Keisel. “I enjoy it. In fact, when it goes, I’m a little sad.”

But, Keisel also knows the facial hair that made opposing linemen tremble is also a powerful fundraising force. He’s discovered that many people will pay good money to come watch his beard being removed.

“It’s a party,” Keisel says. “We turn it into a party. I get a bunch of my friends and teammates to come by.”

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Each of the “celebrity barbers” takes a snip until the beard is gone. The event at Jergel’s Rhythm Grill in Warrendale also features live music, live and silent auctions and appetizers.

Tickets cost $50 and all proceeds benefit cancer programs at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

The doors open at 6 p.m. and the beard shearing begins at 7 p.m.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Jergel’s Rhythm Grill’s website or Keisel’s website.

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