Mustaches for Mitchell?
by MIKE WESTGATE
Rockford Freshman Center
Yes, Mustaches for Mitchell. This year in Rockford Public Schools (RPS), a yet-to-be-determined number of brave souls will sacrifice their faces and dignities as “growers” for Mustaches for Mitchell. Our goal is to use our “push brooms” to raise as much money as possible in our first year for Mitchell’s Run and Parent Project MD.
Mitchell Peterson is currently a student at the Rockford Freshman Center and was diagnosed in March 1999 with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford and Volley for Mitchell have become mainstays in our community and raise funds to fight this disease.
Mustaches for Mitchell is the brainchild of Al Reickard, Mitchell’s social studies teacher at the Freshman Center. As the organizer of this event, Reickard wanted to contribute to Mitchell’s campaign and fundraising efforts in a new and fun way for the staff and students of Rockford.
Conceptually, Mustaches for Mitchell works like the read-a-thons held in grade school, except there’s no reading requirement, and you’re growing a mustache. (OK—not exactly the same, but you get the idea). Each “grower” collects pledges from friends, coworkers, distant relatives, acquaintances, local merchants and bus drivers to sponsor their ’stache. Each ’stache is limited to the Magnum P.I. corner-to-corner style—no goatees, stingers, or other redeeming facial hair is allowed.
The parent organization, Mustaches for Kids, is a volunteer-run organization started in Los Angeles in 1999 to do good and have fun by growing mustaches for children’s charities. Since its humble beginnings, Mustaches for Kids satellite chapters have spread across the continent, a steady expansion that is not unlike the measured, deliberate growth of a mustache.
The growing season begins for participating RPS staff members at the Clean Shaven Day Kickoff on Monday, November 15, and for five glorious weeks thereafter sweet, sweet ’staches are cultivated. During the growing season, growers and sponsors will have the opportunity to meet up at “weigh-ins” to give each other moral support, and compare their facial follicle follies. At the end of five weeks, a finale will be held to determine whose ‘stache is sweetest, with much fame and hardware to go around. All proceeds will benefit Mitchell’s Run and Parent Project MD.