“It’s not every day you concoct a plan to convince 30 people to grow a moustache. But like many great ideas, our inspiration to create a charity hockey game for moustached men was sparked over some pitchers of beer at a bar in Brooklyn. The fact that it would be ridiculous was what made it appealing to us. We wanted to combine beer league hockey (our preferred pastime) with the Movember Foundation’s mission to help educate and provide services for men’s cancer and suicide by marking our faces with moustaches and enduring the public shaming that often comes with it (unfairly so!). “We’ll reach out to the best dudes we know in beer league and ask them to grow moustaches so they’ll feel like NHL all-stars while raising money for cancer and suicide prevention,” is the vague, slurred idea we decided to work with after about the second, or maybe third, pitcher for two. “The moustache hockey all-star game; that’s what this is.”
“Our stroke of genius only came to us on August 17th and we set a date for November 16th. There was a lot of work to do against a running clock and we came to refer to the event as the ‘Moustache Gongshow Extravaganza’. From the beginning, it was only ever about playing and watching some hockey while getting high on wings and beer to raise money for the Movember Foundation and all the programming they do around men’s cancers and suicide prevention. And then — starting with Champion Elevator — so many great partners, sponsors, friends and family joined in. I know I speak for our co-organizers Marc Weiss and Rick Ziegler when I say the support was overwhelming and grew to something much bigger than we ever imagined.
In short time, we learned that many of the people contributing to this event had deeply personal reasons for wanting to fight suicide and men’s cancer. We decided to do the Moustache Classic because we wanted to support the men’s health movement by promoting the idea that playing beer league hockey opens guys up to a support system of people who are there for them. We wanted to promote the idea that by staying active among friends there’s always someone to talk to. We wanted the guys playing in the game to feel rewarded for being good teammates and sportsmen and so did so many other awesome hockey organizations. Boost Oxygen got on board early and other great brands like Violent Gentlemen, ProStockHockey.com, the NHL, New York Islanders, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Hockey Handlez, Rooster’s Hockey Wax, Sprig CBD sodas and the Danbury Hat Tricks all wanted to figure out how they could contribute in some shape or form.”
“We chose the Danbury Ice Arena in Danbury, CT because of the minor league pro hockey history and the unique hockey town it has emerged as over the last 15 years. (Check out the story of the Danbury Trashers and the subsequent teams that have called the city home). There, we got a chance to play in a great small town “barn,” where the head coach of the current pro team the Danbury Hat Tricks, Billy McCreary III, skated with us. This wouldn’t be the type of competitive beer league charity match between two local rivals. Rather, this would be an “all-star” format where teams of beer leaguers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania were randomly placed together for a one-time game.
On game day, everything came together to serve as a tribute to how much work the team had put in to raise money for Movember. In the game, the black team (the “Black ‘Staches”) took a 3-0 lead but somehow the White ‘Staches fired back with 8 unanswered goals to win the first Moustache Classic. It was in many ways no different than any other sloppy beer league game with novice skaters and little tape-to-tape passing to speak of.”
“Afterward everyone agreed that while the white team won, we’d all been victors because we’d played for a reason. And our reasons were well represented. Among those participating in our game, we had a referee who’d beat men’s cancer, as well as couple of players. We also had a goaltender in his late-60’s who is currently receiving treatment for men’s cancer give a shutout performance over the final two periods. We had players and volunteers who’d been touched by suicide among friends and family. We had one player who is in recovery and needed to leave early to help another friend who was struggling with their sobriety. It was a chance for some who were always on the go to take a breather and also for those who don’t get out enough to enjoy a full day of festivities and camaraderie. We had a group of men (and one awesome female hockey player) ranging in age from their late-20’s to their late 60’s who arrived as strangers and left as friends; posing together for pictures and exchanging social media follows before the day was through.”
“We had lunch at Danbury’s famous wing joint, TK’s American Cafe, and then to the awesome brewery Charter Oak Brewing Company before heading back to the arena to catch the Danbury Hat Tricks pro team against their rivals from Elmira, NY. We’d played some hockey, ate and drank well, and spent the rest of the night basking in the glory of our newfound friendships. And, we raised a fair amount of money for a first-time event! By the end of the day on November 16th, we had raised over $3,000 on the Movember page and had a little more than that much in reserve. We are not done collecting yet, but with some checks still in the mail, the Moustache Classic charity ice hockey outing for men’s cancer and suicide prevention has raised over $7,000 so far.”
“As much as it was important to us to help Movember fund all of the important work that they do, we felt it was equally important to try and make a difference directly where we could. What was most rewarding to our organizers were the friendship formed and the support networks that were expanded simply by bringing a group of strangers together to play ice hockey. If you look at it that way, it’s easy to see why we felt like we all won.”
Thank you for submitting the backstory here Matt Caputo! We’d also like to salute our New Haven Raiders Men’s Ice Hockey Team for extending the invitation and the opportunity to support such a worthwhile event; you guys are awesome and we love that you blast up with Boost during all of your games.
All the best!
Your Friends at Boost Oxygen
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