The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

April 14, 2009

Dumping the razor to support cancer research

Put down that razor. The Stanley Cup playoffs are here.

Each year during the National Hockey League’s playoffs, professional players – already something of a grizzled bunch – refrain from shaving until their teams are eliminated from contention or win the Stanley Cup.

You may recall that by the time the Detroit Red Wings had topped the Pittsburgh Penguins in last season’s Stanley Cup finals, players on both benches were looking pretty scraggly.

This year, that superstition has a new twist.

You can play along, and even help a worthy cause.

And – yep, you guessed it – that’s exactly what this once-sane newspaper editor will be doing.

The NHL’s “Beard-a-thon” promotion allows hockey fans to sprout whiskers right along with the players and other team personnel. Those who take part in conjunction with the Penguins can help raise money for the Mario Lemieux Foundation, which supports cancer research.

I’m signed up and ready to go at www.beardathon.com. You can go there now and pledge your support for the Lemieux Foundation, and do it in my name if you want.

You could even join the hairy hockey parade yourself and sign up. You can post your photograph and let people rate your beard against those grown by the likes of Penguins Maxime Talbot and Pascal Dupuis – or me!

(This promotion appears to be pegged to men. But if ladies wanted to let their legs sprout for a few weeks, and raise money to fight cancer, I say go for it!)

Here in the heart of deer-hunting country, it’s quite common to see guys grow facial hair in late November, pledging to leave the whiskers in place until fresh venison is at the butcher shop.

Although I’ve hunted much of my life, I never made such a commitment. And since my bucks were few and far between, you could understand why.

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