Major League Soccer
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Officials facing up to Movember challenge

Nov 12, 2013

If you've seen certain members of PRO looking a bit different recently, it's not because the crews have forgotten to pack their razors.

Instead, a number of officials are growing their facial hair intentionally for the annual Movember movement.

Movember is a charity which quite literally changes the face of men's health, as millions grow moustaches to raise vital funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and mental health. 

And PRO have got fully involved, with several of the guys putting their faces on the line. 

Chris Penso, one of the officials involved, told "October is such a big month for breast cancer, everyone knows what pink stands for during the month which is great, so it would be nice to get Movember on the same level.

"It's the first time I have ever taken part. A few of us got together as a group and decided we should do it.”

Despite it being his inaugural Movember campaign, Penso is hoping to grow something a bit special.

Although not everyone is a fan of his new-found facial hair.

"I have some Italian blood in my system so hopefully that helps. I'm going to see if I can pull off the handlebar moustache. 

"My wife didn't think I was going to do it when I first talked about it, but when she saw me shaving on the first day of the month she realised I was. 

“We were having dinner the other night and she turned to me and said, 'I can't take you seriously with that moustache, I can't even talk to you right now'.”

As of November 11th, the PRO Movember page has raised just under $3000 between 15 members.

There is an internal competition between PRO officials, including Dave Gantar, Ricardo Salazar, and Fotis Bazakos, to see who can raise the most sponsorship money, and Penso has his own target.

"I'm hoping to personally raise $1000," he said.

"I've never really seen Dave Gantar with much facial hair so I'm really excited to see how he is going to look. I have no doubt in the abilities of Mr. Salazar and Mr. Bazakos, they will be my strongest competition."

So far, out of 20 teams, the Professional Referee Organization are third in the Major League Soccer Movember network; Mople Leaf Sports & Entertainment lead the way with New England Revolution in third. 

PRO is donating $25 to each participant on the PRO Official and Assessor lists. Additionally, PRO donated to every non-PRO participant who had signed up by November 1st.

You can visit the PRO Movember page by clicking here

Click here to check out the PRO officials' Movember moustaches on the PRO instagram page

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