By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Nov 20, 2008 at 1:21 PM posted a photograph of Milwaukee's Chris Mischler in its "Offbeat iReports" section yesterday and here's why.

Mischler was just another average-looking Milwaukeean until this past Halloween. Wanting to support cure-focused research after losing his father to diabetes, Mischler dressed up as Mr. T as a means to kicking off a fundraiser at his office -- he works at Fullhouse -- for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.

More than a month later, he's still dressed up.

Mischler challenged his co-workers and friends to donate to his cause and in return, he's systematically improving on his getup as the monetary goals he set are met.

A timeline on his Web site details the progress:

Phase 1: $100 Grew a beard
Phase 2: $200 Dyed my (blond) hair black
Phase 3: $300 Shaved the Mr. T mohawk
Phase 4: $500 Got an ear piercing, and an additional piercing for every $50 (up to 6)
Phase 5: $2,500 First-level of the tattoo challenge: small "I Pity The Fool!" arm tattoo

"They reached all the goals faster than I ever imagined, and pretty much turned a normal guy from Milwaukee into a Mr. T look-alike, albeit much smaller and more pale," he writes on his site.

By this Sunday, Nov. 23 he hopes to have raised $7,500. If accomplished, he's getting a tattoo: a portrait of Mr. T above the words "I pity the fool!" If he reaches his goal, he's launching the next set of challenges:

Phase 7: $20,000 The size of the tattoo doubles, to take up most of my upper arm
Phase 8: $50,000 An A-Team collage 'quarter-sleeve' tattoo
Phase 9: $100,000 A full A-Team collage tattoo on my back

Basically, the more money he raises, the more elaborate his A-team tattoo becomes.

He writes, "I had a friend ask me, 'I thought you were against getting a tattoo.' I responded, 'No, there was just never anything important enough to me to permanently brand my body with.' Now, maybe I've found something."

His next fundraising event is set for Wednesday, Nov. 26 at the Fifth Ward Pub, 814 S. 2nd St. Starting at 5 p.m., there's free beer until the barrel runs out. All donations to Mischler's Mr. T challenge support the Diabetes Research Institute.

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”