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Shave-off at Fitch High School raises more than $1,300 in donations

Men grow their facial hair during No-Shave November to spark conversations about the importance of routine prostate cancer screenings.

AUSTINTOWN — In front of about 1,000 students at Fitch High School on Monday (Dec. 2), men lost their whiskers as professional barbers from Excalibur Barber Grooming Lounge in Boardman lathered their faces and shaved them clean.

More than $1,300 was presented to Mercy Health Foundation in connection with the shave-off.

School administrators, teachers and resource officers — even David Cappuzzello, superintendent of Austintown Schools, and Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown — joined members of the Austintown police department, prostate cancer survivors and community leaders in growing their facial hair during No-Shave November to spark conversations about the importance of routine prostate cancer screenings.

“When you see someone who is normally clean-shaven with facial hair, people ask questions,” Steve Burbrink, a prostate cancer survivor and organizer of the event, said in a news release. “That’s an opportunity to have a conversation and raise awareness about prostate cancer and the importance of routine cancer screenings.”

Annual prostate cancer screenings are recommended for most men beginning at age 40, younger if there is a history of prostate cancer in the family. So why would raising awareness about the need for routine prostate cancer screenings be of interest to high school students?

“We’re hoping this event will inspire students to talk with their parents and other family members about the importance of age-appropriate cancer screenings,” Burbrink said. “It may even prompt them to encourage their parents, grandparents and other family members to have a prostate exam and PSA blood draw. We’re also hoping that getting kids involved at a young age will raise awareness about the need to take charge of their own health and make informed decisions when it comes to health care.”

Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley, the philanthropic arm of Mercy Health, supports the free prostate cancer screenings that Man Up Mahoning Valley hosts during several annual community events, including the African American Male Wellness Walk, Mercy Health Day, Panerathon and Fuel the Fight car show. 

For information on how to support free prostate cancer screenings or other programs that seek to improve the health of Mahoning Valley residents, call Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley at 330-729-1180. For information about Man Up Mahoning Valley and prostate cancer facts, call 330-480-3405 or go to