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Ansonia Students Raise $500 For Men’s Health Initiative

by Ethan Fry | Nov 30, 2012 4:06 pm

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Posted to: Ansonia, Education

Wearing a fake mustache to elementary school might ordinarily land a student a spot standing in the corner facing the wall.

Or at least earn them a stern talking-to.

Not Friday at Ansonia’s Prendergast School.

About 300 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders lined the school’s gym for an afternoon assembly to celebrate “Movember,” a combination of the words “mustache” and “November,” to raise awareness of men’s health issues.

Male teachers and staff at the school grew whiskers throughout the month as part of the fundraiser, but students got in on the act too by selling fake mustaches to raise money to donate to the Health Initiative For Men Fund, administered by the Valley Community Foundation to support men’s health programs at Griffin Hospital.

Principal Joe Apicella said the students sold 700 mustaches, raising a total of $500 for the fund.

Click the play button on the video above to see Apicella talk with students about the initiative.

At the end of the assembly, Apicella and Assistant Principal Sherrod McNeill presented the requisite big check to Frank Michaud, an Ansonia accountant who started the Health Initiative For Men in 2011 with his wife, Judy, and Griffin Hospital’s Connie Evans.

PHOTO: Ethan FryAfterward Apicella said school staff figured students would like the fundraiser, but they had no idea how enthusiastically the fundraiser would be received.

“We have 725 students here, so we anticipated maybe half of them buying it,” he said. “Kids were buying 10 mustaches at a clip. The kids seemed to enjoy it.”

After all, what elementary school student wouldn’t want to be able to wear a fake mustache at school with impunity, right?

“I think that’s part of it, but the end result is some money to Griffin Hospital, and maybe they go home and tell their dad ‘Hey, we did this for men’s health,’ maybe it stops him to think for a little bit,” Apicella said. “I’m very happy with the turnout.”

Michaud donned a fake ‘stache for the cause and thanked kids for chipping in to raise money for men’s health awareness.

“Give yourselves a round of applause,” he urged them — and they obliged.

Before the assembly, Michaud said he was grateful to Prendergast staff for coming up with the idea for the fundraiser.

“It was Joe Apicella and his staff’s idea to do this,” he said. “They wanted to keep it close to home.”

Evans told students she was “thrilled” with their contribution.

“Thank you, thank you, on behalf of everyone at Griffin,” she said. “You guys are incredible. Griffin Hospital is so, so thankful to all of you for everything you did.”

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