GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Greg Amadio and right wing Mitch Callahan are no strangers to fighting opponents on the ice. But throughout this month, the teammates are going face-to-face in a Movember moustache battle to help raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.
Amadio, 30, and Callahan, 20, have joined numerous hockey players and thousands of men around the world in foregoing their clean-shaven ways, attempting instead to nurture a stylish moustache over the next four weeks.
Amadio doesn’t think much of his teammate’s chances – “I think Mitch is putting a valiant effort in, but he’s just not man enough to grow a real moustache,” he said – and, indeed, his experience in hairy situations might seem to suggest an easy victory over the fresh-faced Callahan. Last February, Amadio donated 10 inches of his hair to Locks of Love via an on-ice haircut after having grown it out for 20 months.
Fortunately for Callahan, though, the winner of this battle will be determined not by a bushy upper lip but on the Internet, where each player has set up his personal Movember fundraising page to enable his fans, family and friends to donate in support of his efforts.
“I have to agree (with Amadio),” said Callahan. “I haven’t shaved my moustache since September and this is all I’ve got so far. He might be able to win the moustache competition, but him saying that is karma, so I’ll definitely raise the most money.”
Both locker room bragging rights and national pride are at stake in this competition. Amadio, a native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, is raising funds through Movember Canada’s site at mobro.co/gregamadio, while the page for the California-born Callahan can be found on Movember United States’ site at mobro.co/mitchcallahan.
“It’s a good cause that’s gaining momentum, for prostate cancer and men’s health overall,” said Amadio, an alternate captain playing in his fourth season with the Griffins. “There are a lot of great fundraisers out there, but it always seems like older men get forgotten about.
“Movember is huge back home and is now getting bigger and bigger in the States. My brother, Terry, and his buddies have been bugging me to join their team up in Ottawa, so I hopped on to the St. Mark’s Lions high school team. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
“I think it’s a great cause and I’m proud to help raise awareness about men’s cancer,” added Callahan, who is in his first pro season. “My grandpa was just recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, so me doing this is something huge for my family.”
Funds raised in the U.S. will support prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men, through programs run directly by Movember and its men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Funds raised in Canada, meanwhile, will support the number-one male cancer, prostate cancer, through programs run by Movember and Prostate Cancer Canada. All funds will support a broad range of innovative, world-class programs in line with Movember’s strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research.