As the weather gets colder, students around campus might begin to grow beards as a source of warmth, but the UMBC Men’s Lacrosse team decided they will be growing mustaches for a very unique reason. The team is participating in the nationwide lacrosse fundraising campaign called Lax Stache Madness from Oct. 19 through Nov. 28.
This campaign happens every winter through the HEADstrong Foundation, a group that is designed to support families who have been affected by cancer. The group was founded by a collegiate lacrosse player Nicholas Colleluori, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer during his sophomore year at Hofstra University. Colleluori used his condition to lead a fight against cancer within the entire lacrosse community. Stache Madness stems from Colleluori’s decision to grow the first ever facial hair he has ever had throughout his entire life.
This campaign will begin on Colleluori’s birthday, Oct. 19, and ends on the day he passed away, Nov. 28. The goal of the campaign this year is to raise 200,000 dollars for families who are affected by cancer.
Junior Ryan Baker, the leading fundraiser on the team, and in the nation currently, said, “Everyone, no matter if you’re an athlete or not, has been affected by cancer, and we want to raise money to help people who need access to the resources needed when you are affected by something like this. We aren’t just helping the lacrosse community, we are helping everyone.”
The team traveled to the University of Pennsylvania on Sunday Oct. 22 for the University City Classic, where 8 Division 1 teams participated in games and fundraising. UMBC played and beat both Quinnipiac and Bellarmine. After the games, there was a ceremony where teams received awards for players who embodied Nicholas Colleluori on and off the field, and Senior Billy O’Hara received the award for the Retrievers.
Junior captain Jason Brewster said, “It’s exciting for the team because we have to be clean shaven all year, so getting the chance to raise money for a great cause and grow out a mustache has the whole team excited.”
The Retrievers have a goal of raising $12,000 and as of Nov. 19, have raised $11,874.
To donate to the cause, go to https://pledge.headstrong.org/team/141398