Mustaches for Kids kicked off its annual fundraiser on Sept. 30 for children with cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and the month-long initiative will lead to the ’Stache Bash at the Long Beach Hotel on Nov. 4, from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $75 and the event includes raffles, live music, food and other activities.
Mustaches for Kids is a volunteer-run, national organization that supports children with cancer by having volunteers grow mustaches in order to generate donations for children’s charities. Friends Vinny Leis, Billy Kupferman, James Bogdan and Justin Fitzmartin launched the Long Beach chapter 11 years ago and the group has raised more than $500,000 since it launched what has become one of the most popular fundraisers in town.
The Long Island chapter’s month-long event began with a “shave day,” where participants registered for the event with cleanly shaven faces.
More than 65 people are participating this year, and organizers say that the mustaches are meant to serve as a conversation starter and encourage people to donate to through the group’s website, www.m4kli.com. Participants are given buttons that read “Ask me about my mustache” and a donation website is set up for them when they register. The group’s next “check points” will be held at Barrier Brewing Co. on Saturday, and at the Knights of Columbus on Oct. 29.
“We are off to a great start and are really excited about this season,” Kupferman told the Herald. “We crossed the half-a-million-dollars mark last year and are on our way to that million. Every dollar raised goes right to the kids. Sloan Kettering is an amazing place. We want to do as much as we can to help the folks there do their thing in helping to get these kids better.”
The Mustaches for Kids Fund was created by Memorial Sloan Kettering earlier this year to benefit various patient support programs in its Department of Pediatrics that are in need of additional funding. Specifically, the fund will help build the Teen and Young Adult Program, which addresses the emotional needs of patients between the ages of 16 and 28. The Long Island chapter visits the children at the hospital every year.
Donations can be made in cash or check and made out to MSK, or online at www.m4kli.com.