By Chris Goldberg
Ken Clausen just wanted to do something fun and positive when he decided to create “Mustache Madness” five years ago.
He never could have predicted that encouraging lacrosse players and followers to grow a simple mustache would held raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for a cause like the HEADstrong Foundation.
And, with the total raised now over $400,000, The four-time All-American defenseman from the University of Virginia via The Hill School and the Duke’s Lacrosse Club was honored Friday night at the annual HEADstrong Lime Light Gala (held at the Hyatt regency on Delaware Avenue in Philadelphia) with the HEADstrong Relentless Award.
Clausen first launched “Mustache madness” while heading into his senior year at Virginia, in the fall of 2009. The Downingtown native had heard of a mustache fundraiser in Australia while on vacation and thought it may be a new and unique way to raise money.
“It started with an idea I heard about while in Figi, of all places,” said Clausen. “I thoguht it sounded like a ton of fun and I wanted to bring it back to the lacrosse community.
“In our initial year we raised $32,000. Then we partnered with HEADstrong for the second year and it took off. I never could have envisioned how big it could be.
“I just wanted to do something fun to unite the lacrosse community. You know how tight this community is. It’s grown every year; it’s been a total blast to see it grow.”
Clausen is now a rep for Warrior and Brine – which produces HEADstrong gear – in Denver. He took that position after Mustache Madness began its amazing growth with HERADstrong. But his ties run much deeper to the late Nick Colleluori, the HEADstrong founder, and the Foundation itself.
It turns out that Clausen’s birthday is Oct. 19, the same as Nick’s.
“Being from Southeastern PA, I always had heard of the HEADstrong Foundation,” said Clausen. “Getting Mustache Madness involved with HEADstrong made sense since they are lacrosse-oriented and I had crossed paths with Nick.
“We were both defensemen and we both wore No. 27. Later I found out we shared the same birthday, on Oct. 19. So, we now start the campaign on his birthday.”
Clausen said it was surreal to be honored with the award.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “It’s a joy to work with HEADstrong and amazing that we’ve raised over $400,000 in 5 years.
“It’s an absolute honor to get this award. It’s a complete team effort and so great to be here with the lacrosse community.”