Firefighter students grow mustaches for cancer research

Released by Kilgore College:

Kilgore College Fire Academy No. 75 students are growing mustaches for a good cause. And their mustaches will be on display at the first-ever "Mustache Invitational: Softball Tournament for Cancer."

The softball tournament, set for 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, is open to anyone in public service such as policemen, firemen or paramedics.

Teams must have at least 10 players, and the entry fee is $10 per person, or $100 per team.

Class officers of KC Fire Academy No. 75 and organizers of the tournament are Chris Brown, Tyler; Ash Peters, Victoria, B.C.; and Tim Dopko, Kelowna, B.C.

The three students said they came up with the "mustache" idea from both old fireman videos they watch in class, and also from "Movember."

"Movember" is an annual month-long event involving growing mustaches during the month of November to help raise awareness for men's health issues such as prostate cancer and depression.

"Movember is really big where I come from," said Dopko.  "We thought it was a great idea and we could do something like it here in the states to raise money for the American Cancer Society."

Brown said that all proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society - Gregg South.

"Also, all participants will also receive free blue mustaches to wear at the tournament if they wish," Brown said.

Brown said that the tournament will be special because this is KC Fire Academy's 20th anniversary, the college's 75th anniversary and the 75th KC Fire Academy.

"This was the perfect year to do something special with three milestones happening all at once," Brown said. "We are hoping that this can be the start of something big, and fire academies to follow will keep this going.  We wanted to leave a lasting impression."

Brown also said that thanks to Aramark and KC, hotdogs, hamburgers, drinks and snacks will be available at the tournament. Other sponsors for the event include Main Street Flowers and Gifts, Brookshire's, American Cancer Society, Zaps and Frito Lay.

"Also, if someone doesn't want to play softball, but just wants to come hang out, that's fine, too," Brown said. "We'll accept donations during the tournament, also."

The tournament will be at the Kilgore Youth Sports Complex on Hwy. 135 North.  Deadline to register a team is Nov. 11.  Also, the public is invited to attend the KC Fire Academy No. 75 graduation at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7, in Kilgore.

For more information, or to register a team, contact Peters at: (903) 279-9142 or e-mail: