MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Joey Bommarito, a senior at Dakota High School, had been nailing the water dunk tank’s bull’s-eye all morning on Nov. 20.
At first, the 17-year-old with dark, slicked-back black hair was throwing the hardened rubber ball from 30 feet away, like every other student that day. But after that became too simple, he donated more money and stepped farther away. Hurling the ball from up to 50 feet away, Bommarito plunged mustached teacher after teacher into the tank filled with warm water.
“Can we celebrate Movember in September next year?” said Josh Voss, a substitute teacher brandishing a Fu Manchu mustache, as he shivered in the cold.
Movember is a global fundraiser in which men grow mustaches throughout the month of November to raise money for several organizations seeking a cure for prostate cancer.
At Dakota High School, 16 male teachers and administrators have been growing out their facial hair while students vote for the best and worst mustache. Each male teacher has his own jar with an attached photograph of his face and his mustache as it grows. Students vote with a dollar for the best mustache, and the donations collected from the voting will be given to the Prostate Cancer Foundation at the end of the month, said Dakota Principal Paul Sibley.
Some of the teachers had grown out full beards and waited for after Thanksgiving before shaving and leaving behind only the mustache.
“I didn’t want to creep out my family for the holidays,” said John Reichling, a teacher of government and economics at Dakota.
In addition to the voting jars, students also donated a dollar per ball Nov. 20 to dunk their high school teachers and the principal. Students lined up for the chance, as teachers taunted them from the small seat above the dunk tank. Many students hit the mark but none so impressively as Bommarito, who saved some of his money for an opportunity to dunk Sibley.
When Sibley emerged outside the north entrance wearing a suit he had worn since he was in high school, Bommarito was the first student lined up to throw.
“My wife told me I had to throw out this suit, and I said I still have one more use for it,” Sibley said, while removing his shoes.
Bommarito’s peers and victims — male teachers wrapped in towels and shivering from the cold — lined the ball’s flight path to the bull’s-eye. Bommarito reared back and nailed the target on his third try.
Sibley descended into the tank, his old suit and tie floating above his head. Water dripped from his Movember mustache.
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