Growing mustaches for prostate cancer

John Farey

Fake moustache kits are usually associated with use in a private eye’s disguise routine, not to raise awareness for men’s prostate cancer.

Passers-by on Speedway were treated to Interfraternity Council members wearing thick, black moustaches and handing out free fake moustache kits for the Mo[ustache]vember charity on Monday. The IFC hopes to raise $20,000 for men’s prostate cancer research — double last year’s efforts.

The kit included a can of shaving cream, a razor, some candy for Halloween and a prop moustache to be applied to the upper lip to promote sponsorship for the month-long event. Participants start the month clean-shaven and grow a moustache for all 30 days in November. Meanwhile, they can create a profile to track their progress through the Interfratenty Council website and receive donations.

President Chris Felicetta said the IFC, which represents all 23 Greek fraternities, hopes to sign up more than half of the 2,200 council members this November. Three hundred members sported moustaches to raise $10,000 for the Movember charity in 2010, the first year the month-long event was run on campus, Felicetta said.

“We’re asking our members Greek-wide to grow facial hair, make a profile on the web page and then raise money for prostate cancer,” Felicetta said. “This is our big philanthropy of the semester.”

Female students can also participate by signing up as “Mo-Sisters” to help take donations and raise awareness, Felicetta said.

Vice-president Matthew Ziemnicki said he didn’t believe young men were aware of how common and serious prostate cancer can be.

“I didn’t know much about it myself until I started this campaign,” Ziemnicki said. “It happens to one out of every six males. It is out there and it doesn’t get enough press, and we’re just doing our part.”

More than 240,000 men have been diagnosed with prostate cancer in the U.S. alone this year, according to the National Cancer Institute, about 7,500 more than the number of men and women with breast cancer, which receives much greater public awareness.

Architectural engineering freshman Jordan Figueroa said he had tried to grow a moustache over the summer without much success, but raising awareness of men’s health and prostate cancer might convince him to try again.

“I tried to go for the typical Latino moustache, but I didn’t get it,” Figueroa said. “Prostate cancer isn’t something that was really on my radar. I don’t know much about it. Awareness couldn’t hurt, I’m going to look into it.”

Printed on Tuesday, November 1, 2011, as: Fake moustaches, fundraisers stand up to prostate cancer