Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 9/14/20 – From Press Release
HEADstrong Foundation’s annual Lacrosse Mustache Madness campaign is back for an impressive 12th year, delivering a can’t-miss way for teams to compete against one another while helping families fighting cancer who are at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19.
The Lacrosse Mustache Madness community is buzzing and ready to rally around Chad Stowell, a 21-year-old student-athlete from Marietta College where he captains the Men’s Lacrosse program. Last spring, after experiencing headaches and blurred vision following his season, Chad learned that he had a brain tumor.
On April 27th, Stowell was diagnosed with Chondrosarcoma, an extremely rare form of brain cancer. Upon learning of his player’s diagnosis, Marietta HEAD Coach Shawn Runyon confided in the HEADstrong Foundation. As one of the honorary HEADstrong Heroes and benefactors of this year’s campaign, Chad will share his story with the lacrosse world at large, and rally his fellow athletes to join in the fundraising and competition.
“In these unprecedented times, we are honored to organize a constant positive in our sport through Lacrosse Mustache Madness. This tradition unites our lacrosse family in support of those when they need it most. I cannot overstress the importance of team involvement this year. It’s quite humbling to see our past impact, it certainly speaks to the generosity of this community, but the demand for HEADstrong’s services has never been greater. We hope that every college lacrosse player will rally around Chad Stowell who is fighting and together our Lax Staches will be the difference,” said Ken Clausen (Hill School), LMM Founder.
The competition is one of the most alluring aspects of this campaign, especially this year. Registered teams are seeded to compete in the National Stache-Off Against Cancer; a bracket tournament in which teams go head-to-head against one another in a fundraising competition. The National Stache-Off Against Cancer has become one of the hallmarks of the 8-week campaign, as it pairs programs against each other despite their NCAA level, division or status.
“COVID-19 has added a layer of complexity as our immunocompromised patient population is at a critically high risk of further complications. It’s been unnerving, and quite scary. Due to new restrictions many are undergoing treatment in total isolation.
“Simultaneously, many families have been paralyzed due to unemployment and the economic impact. There are an overwhelming number of families who have been forced to brave the new threat of COVID-19 in the pursuit of time sensitive, necessary care. We are proud to stand strong in this time and play our position. Funding for the services that HEADstrong provides has never been more critical,” says Cheryl Colleluori, HEADstrong President & Nick’s Mom.
Will there be amazing contests? YES. Will there be social media challenges? YES. Will there be prizes? YES! Which team will wear the best mustache? Who will be the most original? Join in on the action to find out!
About The Campaign
Registration is NOW open and will continue through the duration of the campaign. Visit LaxStacheMadness.com to get your fundraising team setup. The Lacrosse Mustache Madness fundraising competition officially starts on October 19th. Be sure to follow the action at @LaxStacheMadness and @HEADstrongFND.
Lacrosse Mustache Madness finds thousands of student-athletes tossing their razors and using their mustaches to secure online donations to honor HEADstrong founder Nicholas Colleluori. The campaign begins October 19th, Nick’s birthday, and concludes on November 28th, the anniversary of his untimely passing. Proceeds directly support the essential services provided by the HEADstrong Foundation including residential, financial, and peer-to-peer support services.
Lacrosse Mustache Madness was created by former professional lacrosse player and UVA standout Clausen, who was inspired to use his own facial hair to honor HEADstrong founder Nicholas “HEAD” Colleluori, an NCAA lacrosse player from Hofstra University who was terminally diagnosed with cancer in 2005. Colleluori’s public fight from the sidelines captivated the nation and from his hospital bed he created an organization focused on empowering student-athletes to improve lives affected by the disease. After enduring 14-months of treatment, Colleluori tossed his razor and grew a mustache in the last weeks of his life as an emotional buffer due to his declining physical appearance. In an uncontrollable situation, Colleluori’s mustache was a positive buffer and conversation starter which was also a way for him to feel “normal” again.
To date, more than 14,000 collegiate student-athletes, representing more than 327 colleges and universities have participated in Lacrosse Mustache Madness. Additionally, the campaign has engaged more than 24,701 donors having raised more than $1,513,284.75 to support families overcome by cancer and fund nights at Nick’s House for families displaced in the pursuit of treatment.