Colorado Springs Man One of Five Finalists Vying for the ‘Most Benevolent’ Beard in America

-Votes determine which fuzzy-faced finalist wins $20,000 for himself and $5,000 for his charity-
(View the Interactive News Release)

STERLING, Ill., Sept. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — James Gottry from Colorado Springs, CO, has been supporting UMOM New Day Centers in Phoenix, AZ, for decades. His connection to the charity stems from his late father who served as the organization’s chief operating officer for more than 20 years. The purpose of UMOM is to target the cycle of homelessness by providing shelter and housing, as well as job and skills training. Men’s grooming leader Wahl is rewarding Gottry’s ability to combine good grooming with goodwill, and has chosen him as a finalist in the Wahl ‘Benevolent Beards’ Contest. Public votes will now decide if Gottry wins the Grand Prize of $20,000 for himself, and $5,000 for his charity. He’ll also be crowned the new ‘Wahl Man of the Year,’ a moniker that boasts a bearded brotherhood spanning 16 years.

To vote for James Gottry as the Most ‘Benevolent Beard’ in America, visit

The other finalists include (in no order):

  1. Ben Davis from Dallas, TX, founded Operation Gentleman, a charity that supports three primary causes: collecting suits and business attire for donation to the Fort Cavazos Soldier Recovery Unit, providing monthly pop-up barbershop services to the homeless population in Dallas, and feeding veterans in need.

  2. Christopher McNeil from Kansas City, MO, is a former elementary school principal who started his program ‘Books and Barbers’ to provide haircuts, books, and mentorship to elementary school students within the Kansas City Public School District. His charity, the Kansas City Public School Foundation, supports educational initiatives and impact programs like ‘Books and Barbers’ that encourage innovation and support student enrichment.

  3. Yuri Williams from Los Angeles, CA, started his charity A Future Superhero after his mother passed away from cancer. His work with disabled and seriously ill children is a tribute to the positive impact his mother had on his life. His efforts include traveling to all 50 states and organizing events like toy drives, backpack giveaways, and personalized visits — all dressed as different superheroes.

  4. Shawn Standley from Talkeetna, AK, is a professional artist who supports his charity, Denali Arts Council, as treasurer. The organization helps the entire community, but especially kids, in the rural Alaskan village explore opportunities for artistic expression, something they often lack in school due to low funding for art programs.

About the Wahl ‘Benevolent Beards’ Contest

A wealth of whiskered men from across America submitted videos of themselves either explaining or demonstrating how they support a charity. What kind of charity? As long as it was a 501(c)(3) organization with a goal to impact the world positively, all charities were considered. Five finalists were chosen, and now public votes will help decide who receives the Grand Prize of $20,000 for himself, and a visit from Wahl’s Mobile Barbershop for a charity fundraising event. Master barbers will offer the public FREE beard trims, and for every trim Wahl will donate $100 to the winner’s charity — up to $5,000. Voting is open until Oct. 1, 2023.

For more information about the Wahl ‘Benevolent Beards’ Contest, or for facial hair tips and tools visit or follow @WahlGrooming on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.

About Wahl Grooming
Celebrating its 104th anniversary, Wahl continues to help men look and feel their best with innovative products manufactured to define and elevate the men’s grooming category. The company set the standard with the first-ever practical electric hair clipper in 1919, and later strengthened its leadership with the world’s first battery-powered facial hair trimmer. It’s this continued commitment to excellence that has solidified Wahl’s place as the world’s go-to brand for men’s grooming solutions. For more information, visit


Wahl Clipper Corporation. (PRNewsFoto/Wahl)

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