MUSTACHES FOR KIDS

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Photo courtesy Charlie Bunshaft
Kevin Gole and Charlie Bunshaft near the beginning of the fundraising where they grew mustaches to benefit children with cancer.
THE COURIER/Photo by Jessica Lyons

For the second year in a row, two teachers at P.S. 131 are raising funds to benefit young cancer patients by growing mustaches and getting sponsors.
Last year, Charlie Bunshaft and Kevin Gole participated in Mustaches for Kids, which was founded in 1999. They are participating through the Long Island chapter, which raises money for the Pediatric Free Care Fund at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
“I had fun doing it last year,” Bunshaft said. “I thought it was a good time.”
Gole also said that the fundraiser went well last year.
“It’s good for the kids to see you doing something positive for other people not because you have to but because it’s a good example to set,” Gole said.
Gole, who teaches computers, said that he had a friend who was also a teacher who had a student with cancer. After visiting in the hospital, he wanted to do something to help such children, which is how the Long Island Chapter was created.
“He saw that there were a lot of kids there that were very sick and many of them couldn’t pay their bills. He decided to do something about it,” Gole said. “He takes that money and he goes into the pediatric wing and he takes the kids’ bills away.”
The chapter’s more than 50 participants raised $18,000 by growing mustaches for four weeks and getting others to sponsor them. Before the time period was up for this year, $19,500 had already been raised.
“I would have never thought that you could raise $20,000 for growing mustaches,” Gole said. “It feels good. You definitely have a sense of satisfaction that you did something positive for other people for the holiday season.”
Fifth grade teacher Bunshaft said that it is very rewarding to be involved, adding that everyone knows someone affected by cancer. He also said that he wants his students to become motivated to also do something to help the community.
“I want my children in my class to be more civic-minded,” Bunshaft said.
Bunshaft said that he wants to show the students that they can help society and help them understand the importance of doing so. The class is currently working on coming up with ideas about how they can get involved.
Gole added that the children are definitely interested in doing something.
Bunshaft and Gole said that their students have loved seeing them grow the mustaches, which they began doing on November 13. Gole said that they think it’s funny and Bunshaft said that many have told him it looks good and is a good addition.
Although the four-week period to grow the mustaches has concluded, donations can still be made to the Long Island chapter of Mustaches for Kids. Anyone interested in doing so can contact either Gole or Bunshaft at P.S. 131 by calling 718-739-4229.
To find out more about Mustaches for Kids, which has chapters throughout the United States and in Canada, visit www.mustachesforkids.org. More information about specifically the Long Island Chapter is available at www.m4kli.org.