Surrey man shaves 40-year ‘stache in tearful fundraiser for cancer run

SURREY – Family and friends cheered on Mike Engele as he said goodbye to his 40-year-old mustache Friday (Sept. 26).The Surrey resident decided to shave off the handlebars as a tribute to two friends who passed away from breast cancer.Proceeds raised from the event were given to a work colleague participating in this year’s CIBC’s Run for the Cure."At first, I didn’t want him to do it because I never saw him without it. But you know what? Hair grows back and I’m very proud," said wife Beverly.Meanwhile, Engele was all smiles as his boss Merlin Smith, of Mercana Art Decor Inc., snipped the hair, coloured pink for the occasion. The grandchildren held expressions of bewilderment and excitement, unsure what the finished product would look like.When all was said and done, the room filled with applause and even a few tears. After being handed a mirror, Engele remained speechless for a moment."My brother passed away two and a half years ago. He was the first person that came to mind when I looked in that mirror, completely identical," he told the Now.Engele originally set a fundraising goal of $300, but by the end of the day, more than $1,000 was collected."I’m really surprised. I didn’t think it would be so popular. I thought, ‘What the heck, let’s do it now because it makes it alittle more special.’" Co-worker Chelsey Babuik, who plans to walk the five-kilometre route at Surrey’s Bear Creek Park this weekend, said the office has been very supportive ofher fundraising team, also known as the Bosom Bunnies."We have around 25 people participating and we’ve already raised $6,500 collectively. It’s addictive when you know how much support you can get."Babuik, who was adopted at a young age, added while she may not be at risk by blood, her six-year-old niece could be carrying the breast cancer gene."That’s something that if by the time she’s 20 and there’s less of a chance she’ll have to deal with it, then that’s a big motivator for me."CIBC’s Run for the Cure takes place Oct. 5 in Bear Creek Park. Since its inception in 1992, mortality rates have declined by 42 per cent since their peak in 1986.tverenca@gmail.com