Moustache March to collect cash for cancer cure

Deputies getting ready for a March 22 event in Portland

By John Branton, Columbian Staff Reporter

Published:

 
photoCourtesy of Chrissy Dearey Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Orr After he was transported by ambulance to attend a game of the Junior Baseball Organization team he coached, t Took part in previous Moustache March events before succumbing to melanoma

Clark County sheriff’s deputies are starting Moustache March, to raise money for the American Cancer Society. They hope to raise far more than the $11,000 in donations they collected in March 2011.

And it has something to do with upper-lip facial hair, but that’s a bit fuzzy. Folks can grow moustaches, or shave them, or not, or do nothing at all.

“It’s not about the ’stache; it’s about the cash,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Shane Gardner, who claims he wrote that slogan and maybe should go into advertising.

So, if it’s not about the ’stashe, why is it called the Moustache March? Why isn’t it called the Cash March?

A display of masculinity? Don’t ask.

One thing is clear: Kids think it’s funny and giggle to see their dad with a moustache and being clipped. Women and children also can participate in an upcoming event.

“This year, we are offering bragging rights to the winners of several categories including clean starters, early growers, the ladies, the fakers, year-rounders and the li’l ones,” Gardner said in a bulletin.

The moustache thing is done around the country as an official fundraiser for the Cancer Society, and it seems to work. The idea is to make it fun while rounding up donors and collecting money to find a cure.

It’s also a social thing in which donors can join a team to collect cash or start a team. Or just donate directly.

And on March 22, at a basketball game at Portland’s Rose Garden Arena, employees from Bernie & Rollies Barber Shop, 10323 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd. in Vancouver, will be there to deal with those ’staches.

“March 22nd will be Law Enforcement/Firefighter/Moustache March night,” Gardner said.

Sheriff Garry Lucas will be there to be shorn of his trademark close-clipped, cop-style ’stache, as will many more folks, by a kiosk on the concourse. Anyone is invited to take part.

The lack of a cure for some cancers in this high-tech world is maddening and tragic. In August, Deputy Jim Orr, a young man who participated in a shave-off on April 1, died of melanoma, a type of skin cancer.

“Everybody knows somebody who, in some way, has been affected by someone with cancer,” Gardner said.

To learn more, visit http://bit.ly/wUtAr8.

John Branton: 360-735-4513 or john.branton@columbian.com.