Improving Lives Affected By Cancer
Contact: Pat Colleluori
Lax Stache Madness Grows Record Breaking $200,000 For HEADstrong
PHILADELPHIA – It’s time to break out those razors, say goodbye to those lip warmers and celebrate Lax Stache history. Over the past 6 weeks more than 1,000 college lacrosse players representing 75 teams united by growing their mustaches, raising funds and participating in Lax Stache Madness. The annual facial hair fundraising campaign raised a record breaking $200,788 this year for the HEADstrong Foundation.
The 10th anniversary of HEADstrong founder Nicholas Colleluori’s passing combined with #GivingTuesday sparked an incredible last minute push for funds and a donation to Timmy Ahern of the University of Scranton pushed Lax Stache Madness over the $200,000, making campaign history.
Rich Moses, who serves as Director of HEADstrong’s Texas chapter broke an individual fundraising record, raising more than $13,923. HEADstrong Texas also retained the Lax Stache Crown raising more than $20,340. Fairfield Men’s Lacrosse, Bucknell Men’s Lacrosse and Towson University Men’s Lacrosse all raised more than $10,000 for the cause. (Please see the Lax Stache Madness 2016 Top 27 Teams and Growers below)
“It has been a very humbling year for Lax Stache Madness with us reaching record participation and donations. It has been inspirational to see the generosity, teamwork and philanthropic spirit of so many amazing young men working to support the HEADstrong mission. We could not think of a better way to pay homage to Nick Colleluori then surpassing the $200,000 mark this year.” says Lax Stache Madness creator Ken Clausen
Lax Stache Madness was created by former professional lacrosse player Ken Clausen while attending the University of Virginia. Marketed around his signature mustache, he believed that growing facial hair was a great way to make a difference while paying tribute to HEADstrong founder Nicholas Colleluori.
Lax Stache Madness Fundraising History
2009 – $32,000
2010 – $79,000
2011 – $95,000
2012 – $101,000
2013 – $100,000
2014 – $120,000
2015 – $170,000
2016 – $200,788
The campaign emulates the last 6 weeks of Colleluori’s life when he himself grew a mustache after losing his eyebrows as a side-effect of treatment. Colleluori longed to feel “normal” and through his mustache found a way to diffuse the negativity surrounding his declining health. Colleluori was a Division 1 lacrosse player entering his sophomore year at
Hofstra University when he was terminally diagnosed with cancer. His public fight from the sidelines captivated the nation and from his hospital bed created the HEADstrong Foundation, focused on improve lives affected by the disease.
Since 2009, Lax Stache Madness has raised $900,000 to support the cause. Lax Stache Madness has become an annual fall tradition for many college lacrosse programs. One of the hallmarks of the campaign is the National Stache-Off, an interactive bracket tournament based on daily incremental gains in which teams go head to head with winners advancing. This year, the University of Scranton pulled off an upset claiming the National Stache-Off Title over Bucknell Men’s Lacrosse.
“The National Stache-Off has been an incredible addition to the campaign as it gives teams regardless of their conference, division or league the ability to compete against one another. Teams rise to the occasion and buy in to the challenge.” says Clausen
Each year the Lax Stache Madness committee selects a grower who embodies the spirit of the campaign and demonstrates extraordinary leadership and effort throughout. This year, John Stark of Towson University has been recognized with this prestigious honor.
“John has arguably the greatest mustache in the game. Over the past 2 years he has led an amazing effort at Towson University raising more than $20,000 to support the cause. He has empowered athletes and staff alike to get involved and has woven the campaign into the fall semester. We are very grateful for their involvement as his efforts are the definition of how a team can embrace the campaign.”
There have been some incredible stories of hope that have come out of this year’s campaign including cancer survivor and Limestone sophomore Tyler Ponzio leading a 63-grower fundraising team to raise more than $9,000. Methodist Men’s Lacrosse rallying around sophomore Noah Beelendorf who is currently fighting and Concordia Wisconsin Men’s Lacrosse rallying around fellow student-athlete Lilly Johnson who is battling stage 2B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, just to name a few.
“Unfortunately this disease continues to hit home for many athletic programs throughout the country and these shared circumstances have united our growers in a way that we have never seen before. The efforts of these programs have been truly relentless as their fight has become personal.”
Lax Stache Madness Top 27 Fundraising Teams
|Fairfield University Men’s Lacrosse Team||$12,892.03|
|Towson University Men’s Lacrosse 2016||$11,627.64|
|Bucknell University Men’s Lacrosse||$11,275.15|
|University of Delaware Men’s Lacrosse||$9,687.82|
|Limestone Men’s Lacrosse||$9,029.91|
|The University of Scranton Men’s Lacrosse Team||$9,029.80|
|Haverford College Men’s Lacrosse||$8,840.46|
|St. Ambrose University||$6,934.22|
|UMBC Men’s Lacrosse||$6,703.96|
|University of Maryland Men’s Lacrosse||$5,864.86|
|Methodist University Men’s Lacrosse||$5,794.82|
|Syracuse University Men’s Lacrosse||$5,298.76|
|Brown University Lacrosse||$5,290.74|
|Springfield College Men’s Lacrosse||$5,001.46|
|Mount St. Mary’s Men’s Lacrosse||$4,939.90|
|University of Georgia Men’s Lacrosse||$3,515.01|
|Princeton Lacrosse Mustache Madness||$3,514.06|
|Holy Cross Men’s Lacrosse||$3,421.76|
|Bowdoin Men’s Lacrosse||$3,356.79|
|Ursinus Men’s Lacrosse||$2,630.79|
|University of Pittsburgh Men’s Lacrosse||$2,628.77|
|The Hill School||$2,284.33|
|Boston University Men’s Lacrosse||$2,131.80|
|Elmira College Men’s Lacrosse||$1,715.34|
Lax Stache Madness Top 27 Growers
“On behalf of the HEADstrong Foundation and those we humbly serve we wish to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to everyone who participated, promoted, contributed or sponsored Lax Stache Madness this year. November 28th marked the 10th anniversary our Nick’s untimely passing. The positive energy and love surrounding this incredible campaign has been very comforting and uplifting in such an emotional time for our family. We continue to be in awe of our lacrosse community and the amazing things that together we are achieving on behalf of families devastated by cancer. I see so much of our Nick in each of our growers and from the bottom of our hearts we wish to thank everyone for embracing us. The funds raised is an incredible achievement and will be instrumental in allowing us to strengthen our commitment to families, especially this holiday season.” Cheryl Colleluori, HF President & Nick’s Mom
Please visit www.HEADstrong.org to learn more about how the HEADstrong Foundation is changing the game for those affected by cancer.