Cancer awareness grows with mustaches on L.A. City Hall officials
Some are slim and Zorro-like. Others are bushy, but well-kept. And still others, like Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino’s, look like they belong on the mug of a biker dude named Bubba.
Buscaino’s handlebar mustache, one of a handful that have recently sprouted on City Hall faces, was grown in support of “Movember,” a month-long charity event geared toward raising awareness of prostate and testicular cancer.
The sight of mustachioed staffers has become common along the corridors of City Hall in recent days –- Tom Selleck lookalikes grabbing coffee or whispering asides to their bosses.
Council members honored their efforts Friday with a proclamation recognizing “Movember,” a mash-up of the words mustache and November.
Buscaino stood with a half dozen staff members and supporters, all sporting the extra facial hair, looking like a group of 1970s businessmen with better suits.
“While some of us are painful to look at, what is truly painful is allowing prostate cancer to go unnoticed,” said Buscaino, whose entire male staff is participating.
This is the first Movember for Branimir Kvartuc, Buscaino’s communications director. Kvartuc survived a bout with testicular cancer in 2010. He says it’s been difficult to get used to the daily facial shaving -– he so loathes the activity that he normally sports a trim beard.
And there’s always the danger of making a wrong move while shaping the masterpiece -– a lesson he said a fellow staffer learned the hard way, when a trim put him at risk of looking like Der Fuhrer, and he had to shave it all. “You can’t go Hitler-ish,” said Kvartuc.
Standing before the council, Kvartuc, who has a handlebar mustache that matches his boss’, said, “I wear this mustache as a reminder to all men to ... go get your pipes checked out.”
-- Christine Mai-Duc at Los Angeles City Hall
Photo: Branimir Kvartuc, left, communications director for Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino, right, survived a bout with testicular cancer in 2010 and along with others at City Hall he has grown a mustache to raise awareness during the “Movember” campaign. Credit: Christine Mai-Duc / Los Angeles Times