Tinley man’s beard supports Blackhawks playoff run, charity effort
BY MIKE NOLAN email@example.com May 20, 2014 5:50PM
Wearing a replica of the 1961 Blackhawks jersey worn by Stan Mikita, Stefan Floyhar, of Tinley Park, shows off the beard he's growing as part of a fundraiser for the team's charity during its playoff run. | Mike Nolan~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 23, 2014 3:51PM
To illustrate how devoted Tinley Park resident Stefan Floyhar and his wife, Mellissa, are to the Blackhawks, Stefan relates a story about a game they attended at the United Center.
It was during a game last season, and his wife was pregnant with the couple’s son.
At one point, “she was having major bad contractions,” Stefan said. They walked around the UC hoping the pains would subside, but he said he knew he couldn’t talk her into leaving before the game ended. She gave birth to Daemien the next day.
This year, Stefan Floyhar also is devoting some of his playoff energy toward raising money for the team’s charitable arm. Fans ditch their razors for the duration of the playoffs and solicit pledges from family and friends.
Floyhar as of Tuesday was in third place, with pledges of $1,050, out of 140 beard-growers who also are raising money. An Orland Park man, Lenny Debickero, was in fifth.
Floyhar, 33, said he first adopted the bearded look during the playoffs in 2006. He said he didn’t realize until this year that the Beard-a-Thon also serves as a fundraiser for the team’s charitable arm.
He initially set a goal of $500 in pledges, then reset it to $1,000 and now aims to raise $1,500.
The rest of the year, Floyhar, is clean-shaven, but that comes to a halt once the playoffs get underway.
“I don’t trim it, I don’t do anything to it,” he said. “If you keep with tradition, you don’t touch it until they (Blackhawks) win the Cup or are eliminated.”
At the end of last year’s successful Stanley Cup run, Floyhar said he looked like he belonged in the cast of “Duck Dynasty.”
He said the Blackhawks “always had a particular place for me,” and he has fond memories of listening to games on the radio with his dad, even during those years when getting to the playoffs was a mere pipe dream.
Floyhar is manager of infrastructure systems for Ferrara Candy Co., and because of Ferrara’s longtime sponsorship of the Blackhawks, it’s helped him gain access to the rarefied air of the team’s icons, such as Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull.
He’s friends with Mikita’s family, and he has photos of both Mikita and Hull holding Daemien, who also sat in the Cup after last year’s playoffs.
Floyhar has about two dozen Blackhawks jerseys, but his favorite is a replica of the 1961 jersey Mikita wore when the team won the Stanley Cup that year. It’s autographed on both front and back by Mikita.
Although Floyhar sticks with the team through good times and bad, he said his fervor actually is surpassed by that of his wife, who’s been known to throw things at the TV if a bad icing call is made against the Blackhawks. He said that whether they’re viewing the game at home or away, they “stand and hoot and holler” during the national anthem, as though they’re in the stands at the United Center.
Although their son is a wee too young to sprout a beard, he’s joined the playoff tradition in his own way. The 16-month-old “desperately needs a haircut,” but, Floyhar said, no trimmers will touch his son’s head until the Blackhawks are either ousted or again hoist the Cup.
Floyhar said he was unable to play hockey in school — he was on the football team and ran track at Bremen High School — but hopes his son will one day hit the ice and perhaps even play for dad’s and granddad’s favorite team.
“My dream is one day to see him lift the Cup over his head,” Floyhar said.