Thursday, January 17, 2013

Charlotte party for epilepsy, mustache shaving

Charlotteans are invited to a viewing party Friday to watch CNN's "Situation Room," where Republican stategist Alex Castellanos will shave his 41-year-old mustache in support of epilepsy research.

Castellanos, a former Morehead scholar at UNC Chapel Hill, will shave his mustache live at 4 p.m. to honor a challenge he made last month with friend David Axelrod, President Obama's senior campaign strategist.

The arrangement began before the election when Axelrod appeared on on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" with Joe Scarborough and bet his facial hair that Obama would win Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania in the presidential election -- which he did.

Instead of growing a mustache, as he had promised, Scarborough said he would donate $10,000 to Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, the charity founded by Axelrod's wife, Susan. The couple has a daughter with epilepsy.

In response, Axelrod said he would still shave his 40-year-old mustache if they could raise $1 million for CURE. The money came in, and Axelrod shaved his mustache in December, live on "Morning Joe."

That same day, Castellanos announced he would also shave his longtime mustache if CURE could recruit 500 new donors in a month. The challenge drew 527 new donors, who raised more than $115,000 for CURE.

Hosts for the viewing party are Bodgan Ewendt, executive director for CURE, and his wife, Jackie, who have a home in Charlotte. The party is open to the public and starts at 3 p.m. at Hampton Inn & Suites SouthPark at Phillips Place. RSVP at