Father Brian Hecktor

Father Brian Hecktor is the new associate pastor at St. Francis Borgia Parish. Father Hecktor originally is from Concord Hill and graduated from Washington High School. His first Mass at Borgia was Wednesday, June 20.   

Missourian Photo.

“Wanted: Food for Whiskers” signs hang at St. Francis Borgia Grade School and Parish, Washington. The signs are part of a friendly competition to help collect food for the food pantry.

For each food item donated, students and parishioners get to decide if they want Father Brian Hecktor, parochial administrator, to shave or keep his beard.

All donations are welcome, but items needed the most are worth more than one “vote.”

For example, a plastic jar of jelly, canned tuna, canned chicken and spaghetti sauce are worth three votes each while a plastic jar of peanut butter or a box of cereal will earn five votes.

Voters simply place the items in a box marked “shave” or “keep” the whiskers.

The contest began Oct. 24 and runs through this Sunday, Nov. 10.

If the majority of voters are in favor of Father Hecktor shaving his whiskers, he will do just that on Nov. 7. If the majority wants him to keep the whiskers, he will continue to grow his beard until Christmas Eve.

Collection boxes are located in the grade school and in Jesuit Hall.

The idea for the contest came from a parent, said Michelle Etter, principal.

Father Hecktor had skipped shaving while on vacation recently and returned home with a little scruff, but quickly shaved. The parent thought the contest would be a fun way to collect food for the pantry.

“The kids are absolutely loving it,” Etter said. “The community is getting behind it and Father Hecktor is getting a kick out of it as well.”

Father Hecktor said the contest has been a “really fun and exciting way to get food for the panty.”

Etter said she’s heard the kids say they want Father Hecktor’s beard to look like those in “Duck Dynasty,” a popular television show.

About midway through the contest, there were 517 votes for Father Hecktor to keep his whiskers and 105 in favor of him shaving.

Personally, Etter said, she likes the beard.

“He looks very dignified,” she said.