Mr. No-Shave November pageant showcases month-old beards

    The Mr. No-Shave November final pageant raised $4,191 for Northwestern University Relay For Life. The event was held on Friday in Fisk Auditorium at 7 p.m. and Medill junior Matt Connolly won the title of Mr. No-Shave November in a competition against four other contestants, all of whom hadn’t shaved their facial hair for a month.

    “I was blown away by the enthusiasm of the participants as well as their dedication to fundraising,” Weinberg junior and Relay for Life Co-Chair Jenna Kastan said. “I thought it was a really good time and the audience loved it. I’m really looking forward to next [year’s pageant].”

    The pageant consisted of an interview section and a competition portion, which entailed the contestants drinking milk, sticking their faces in breadcrumbs and searching for gummy worms in mud pies with their mouths.

    The contestants were judged by three members of the Relay For Life executive committee in five categories: fundraising, competition performance, interview performance, beard aesthetics and audience opinion. The judges took into consideration all of the categories to determine the overall winner and fundraising award winner.

    The Northwestern Relay For Life chapter raised money from pageant ticket proceeds and participant friend and family sponsorships for the American Cancer Society. The annual spring Relay For Life event consists of teams walking around a track overnight to represent how cancer never sleeps.

    The American Cancer Society uses fundraised money for everything from supporting cancer research to sponsoring programs reaching out to cancer survivors and families. This year’s Relay For Life event is scheduled to take place on May 13-14 for 12 hours at SPAC.

    “We wanted to get the word out about Relay For life in a kind of funny way and reach out to a demographics who don’t usually participate,” Weinberg junior Marina Affi said, who is a co-chair of public relations and fundraising.

    Weinberg senior Zach Warburg won the fundraising award by raising $3,325 leading up to the pageant. “I was already doing No-Shave November and saw this as the best opportunity to raise money for cancer awareness and research,” Warburg said.

    In between sections of the competition there were beard jokes, a performance by all-male a capella group Asterik and a video of the contestants. At the end, the participants also received swag bags donated by CVS Pharmacy, which included razors, shaving cream and a water bottle.

    “It’s fun…and for a great cause,” Warburg said. “And it’s the best way for a man to grow his beard and get ready for the cold while raising money for cancer awareness.”

    Full disclosure: Matt Connolly is a North by Northwestern Managing Editor.


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