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Published March 01, 2012, 11:30 PM

Bros on Broadway: Facial hair abundant at Fargo’s HoDo in effort to raise money, awareness for prostate cancer

FARGO – What do Captain Kangaroo, Captain Crunch and a Viking have in common? Stumped? It’s the facial hair.

FARGO – What do Captain Kangaroo, Captain Crunch and a Viking have in common?

Stumped?

It’s the facial hair.

All three characters were among the many beards and mustaches, both real and fake and male and female, at the Hotel Donaldson on Thursday night for Bros on Broadway.

Running throughout February, the event encouraged men to grow facial hair to raise awareness of prostate cancer and to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

The Fargo Fire Department, one of several teams raising money all month, was well-represented Thursday night. More than 10 firefighters made an appearance, each seemingly sporting similar Fu Manchu mustaches.

Matt Nelson, the department’s public relations officer, said between 50-60 firefighters grew facial hair during February in support of the event. As of Thursday night, the department had already raised more than $3,500.

Normally, Nelson said, firefighters can only grow their facial hair out to their lips, but in honor of the cause, the grooming standards had been relaxed somewhat.

But that doesn’t mean everyone’s happy about it.

“I’ve heard a lot of spouses complain about it,” he said laughing.

Spousal displeasure was also the case for Glenn Trautman, who was shooting for the “Most Grizzly” beard title this year.

Trautman started growing his beard Nov. 1 and hasn’t trimmed since, he said. And it shows.

Not surprisingly, the beard hasn’t been very popular with his wife, he said. So, he planned on trimming later Thursday night to make up for it.

“If he doesn’t, his wife will,” his brother John said.

John, coincidentally, had won last year’s “Most Grizzly” title.

And sitting in a booth by the entrance, Larry Ottesen, dressed as Captain Kangaroo, Mary McPherson, dressed as Captain Crunch, and LaRae Close, dressed as a Viking, were getting plenty of attention from passersby.

All three have participated in Bros on Broadway every year since it started in 2009, and every year have tried to come up with a different costume idea.

McPherson alone had gone from Albert Einstein to a Musketeer to Colonel Sanders, finally settling on this year’s cereal captain.

All great facial hair, all for a great cause.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535

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