Story Links

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – When senior defenseman Ken Clausen was on a family vacation in Fiji last year over Christmas break, he ran into two gentlemen from Australia. The trio struck up a conversation when they discovered a handlebar mustache tattooed along the outside of Clausen’s left forefinger, just between the forefinger and the middle digit. During their chance encounter, Clausen learned about a recent phenomenon, where men grow mustaches to symbolize men’s health issues like cancer. The run-in thus ignited Clausen’s charge for cancer awareness and the commencement of the inaugural “Mustache Madness.”

During Clausen’s encounter with the Aussies last Christmas, the Dowington, Pa., native learned that such an idea was sparked in 2003 in Melbourne, Australia, and is an annual, month-long celebration of the moustache, highlighting men’s issues – specifically prostate and testicular cancer. Clausen liked the symbol of growing a ‘stache to create awareness for a cause, keeping the idea in the memory bank for the future.

“Being a part of such a prestigious lacrosse program like Virginia, we are afforded a unique opportunity and platform to help a lot of people and have a positive impact in people’s lives,” said Clausen. “I have always been looking for something that I could do where I can reach out and help anyway I can.”

With a seed already planted in Clausen to reach out and create awareness for cancer, he found two supporters in the UVa lacrosse training room earlier this fall. Clausen and Brown transfer Todd Faiella were in discussions of creating such an event when new lacrosse trainer Rebecca Vozzo discussed a fundraiser she helped spearhead at Quinnipiac when she wanted to honor her father’s struggle with prostate cancer.

Clausen’s idea to involve his team in a fundraiser benefiting cancer research finally had a set focus, thanks to Vozzo, singling out a form of cancer that solely affects men. But he wanted to extend his charge farther than just his teammates, as the two-time first team All-American dove into the national realm, encompassing the sport of lacrosse in his endeavor.

Two awards will be given when the fundraiser concludes at midnight on Nov. 30. The team that has the highest fundraising fans wins the coveted Mad Stache Trophy. There will be an award for the best-styled mustache, based on pictures submitted to Mustached Madness on their official website

“We all have someone in our lives who has been touched by cancer,” said Virginia head men’s lacrosse coach Dom Starsia. “If growing a “cheesy moustache” can help that cause, I say, ‘put those razors away!’ Although Ken (Clausen) likes the facial hair a little too much already, we are all very proud of his efforts to raise these funds. Part of the college experience is discovering your responsibility to the community of mankind and it is nice to see some college undergraduates acknowledge that relationship. Ken is one of those young men who has become a leader on and off the lacrosse field.”

Visit Mustache Madness’ official website,, to learn more about the event and to donate. Keeping in the spirit of the month, grow those mustaches and submit your pictures by clicking on the Posterous button on the official Mustache Madness website.

Prostate Cancer Statistics
• One in six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America.

• A man is 35 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer than a woman is to develop breast cancer.

Every dollar raised by this event will go directly to funding prostate cancer research. All donations are 100 percent tax deductible.

For More Information


Print Friendly Version