BLOOMFIELD, Ind. – A 72-year-old man with eyebrows so long he brushed them each morning raised $1,600 for charity from people who paid to take turns trimming down his out-of-control brows.
Some of the wiry hairs shorn from Si Burgher's shaggy eyebrows measured more than three inches long because the former jeweler's brows had never been trimmed before.
Burgher's eyebrows were so long he used to brush them before leaving the house. But he agreed to have the overgrown brows tamed last week by members of the Bloomfield Rotary Club to raise money for a polio eradication campaign.
Burgher barely winced as his wife, Amy, got the first whack at the overgrown hairs.
"I don't care if they ever grow back," he told The Herald-Times of Bloomington. "My wife says I look 20 years younger."
Lawyers, bankers and others put up $100 each for their turn to snip away at Burgher's eyebrows, with the money going to Rotary International's PolioPlus, which has raised $500 million for polio eradication in the developing world since 1985.
Amy, Burgher's wife of eight years, likes his new look.
"Beneath the eyebrows is a really handsome man," she said. "He looks like a normal person. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts."
His eyebrow-trimming started last year when Rotary Club members in the city about 25 miles southwest of Bloomington wondered aloud what it would take to get Burgher to tame his bushy brows. By the time of the club's Christmas dinner, members were already taking their first bids on would-be snippers.
Burger said he realized he couldn't back out of the eyebrow trim because he's donated $7,000 to PolioPlus for vaccines over the years.