The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Grad. students raise money with mustaches

Amanda Gray | Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Notre Dame graduate students will benefit a local charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Joseph County, while growing mustaches in November, co-coordinator and Notre Dame graduate student in Biological Sciences Matt Barnes said.

“Mustaches for Kids is basically a fundraiser similar to a walk-a-thon or fun run, but instead of walking or running we grow mustaches for charity,” Barnes said.
Those involved realize the idea doesn’t sound conventional.

“It may sound like a silly idea, but people will pay to see guys grow mustaches,” he said.
The event will begin on Nov. 3 with every participating male showing up to a meeting clean shaven and with an initial donation, Patrick said. Once a week for the next four weeks, the participants will meet at a “weekly shave-in” where pictures will be taken of the growing mustaches to post on the fundraiser’s Web site and participants can turn in donations.
“At the end of the month, we are having a ‘Stache Bash’ where all the participants will show off their mustaches,” Patrick said.

“It’s a kind of beauty pageant,” Barnes said. “We’ll award prizes at the end of the ‘growing season’ for the best and worst mustaches, as well as to the participant who raises the most money.”

The prizes are three $25 Legends gift cards donated by the Biology Graduate Student Organization, Barnes said.

The fundraiser began last year as an idea suggested to Barnes by Konrad Kulacki, a Biological Sciences graduate student who graduated last year.

“It’s something I wish I could take credit for. Konrad came to me with it. The idea sort of grew on us at the time, pardon the pun,” Barnes said. “It’s a case where the graduates took a lesson from the undergraduates. Notre Dame has a spirit of community service and the Biological Sciences graduate department wanted to make contributions.”

The original idea came from an Internet search.

“Everyone’s already doing a walk or run,” Barnes said. “We came across the main Web site for the group, www.mustachesforkids.org, searching the Internet.”

Last year, the fundraiser was successful, much to the surprise of the organizers, Barnes said.

The 12 participants raised $1,113.21, Patrick said.

“The biggest thing that has changed is our expectations,” Barnes said. “We’re hoping for more.  Our goal this year is $2,000.”

The group intentionally picked this time of year to have the fundraiser, Barnes said.
“With people going home for Thanksgiving, it’s a great opportunity to raise money for the fundraiser.”