At 76, barber gives back to fight disease

July 20, 2018

This paid piece is sponsored by GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness.

In Sioux Falls, Jim Dresch is best known as the namesake of his longtime business, Clipper Jim’s Hair Styling & Hair Replacement.

It’s where he has cut hair for more than 40 years and where he still works three days a week at 3301 S. Western Ave.

But in medical circles, Dresch is a record setter.

At 76, he’s one of the oldest living people in the U.S. with cystic fibrosis.

The average age of someone with the disease, which affects the lungs and digestive system, is 47, he said.

Beating those odds isn’t easy. Dresch inhales four medications twice a day. He wears a vibrating vest twice a day to help loosen the mucus in his lungs.

“Being a positive person, along with the drugs I take, is why I’m alive,” he said. “You have to be positive, and I am. I’m real positive.”

People with cystic fibrosis can get diabetes. He has that too.

He’s also a cancer survivor of seven years.

“So I’ve been through the mill,” he said.

Dresch has maintained a loyal client base through it all, including longtime customer Tom Walsh, the CEO of GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness. Walsh has been a customer from the start.

“I have a lot of clients like Tom. They’re friends of mine,” Dresch said.

So at his 70th birthday, he and Walsh started talking about raising funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

It led to the Clipper Jim Invitational, which is held annually at GreatLIFE’s Willow Run Golf Course.

“The first year was hard because we didn’t have any help, but we got it done,” Dresch said.

Then, foundation leaders from Minneapolis got involved.

“And now everything is on their computers for me,” Dresch said. “That’s helped. And this year, they’re going to be there.”

About 140 golfers are expected to tee off at the event today. Last year, it raised about $70,000. Dresch is hoping to beat it.

“We have a silent auction with a lot of nice things, so that will help too,” he said.

To learn more about donating, click here.

A banquet is expected to draw about 200 people, he added.

“Willow Run has been great. Tom does a wonderful job. He provides some things another place probably wouldn’t, and we feel really comfortable there,” Dresch said. “The course is in really good shape, and we like to play there.”

Since beginning the event, Dresch has raised more than $330,000 for the foundation, which will honor him in Minneapolis this December.

He plans to keep it going – and keep cutting hair – as long as he’s able.

“It’s a wonderful life,” he said.

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At 76, barber gives back to fight disease

At 76, this Sioux Falls barber is one of the oldest people living with cystic fibrosis. Here’s how he’s doing his part to help fight the disease.

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