Howard Elementary third-graders Sean Polomczak, left, and Adrian Thomas listen while teacher Dave Schiele reads to the class. Howard-Ellis students wore mustaches for men’s health awareness on Wednesday. Daily Star photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

Archived Story

‘Staches for charity

Published 5:03pm Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Something fuzzy was going on at Howard-Ellis Elementary School Wednesday afternoon.

Something very fuzzy indeed.

Students and faculty — even the women and girls — were sporting thick black mustaches underneath their noses.

It was all part of a unique fundraiser dreamt up by a few Howard-Ellis teachers to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues.

Elementary teacher Dave Schiele said the school raised more than $600 for cancer research by selling the mustaches on Wednesday. A pack of three mustaches sold for $1 a piece.

They sold 532.

Schiele, who bought the mustaches online, didn’t expect the fundraiser to be such a hit. He thought maybe a hundred boys would buy them.

“We had as many girls buy them as boys. I couldn’t believe it,” Schiele said. “We actually ran out.”

Because of the potential distraction, students did not put on their mustaches until the school day was almost finished.

Schiele hopes the fundraiser will help shed light on men’s health issues.

“You hear about men having cancer all the time but there isn’t a special month for them, so I thought what a better way to bring it to the school and teach kids to support the men in their lives,” he said.

The money will be donated to the American Cancer Society, with half going toward the prostate cancer foundation.

Schiele, assistant principal Zech Hoyt and teachers Jason Todd and Josh Grannell all grew mustaches during the month of “Movember,” is a mustache growing charity supporting prostate cancer and other male cancer initiatives in November.

Since Wednesday was the last day in November, the mustaches are about to come off.

“My wife and daughter are ready for it to come off,” Schiele said. “They hate it.”

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