April 7, 2023, By Michael Dorgan
An annual fundraiser where participants shave off their facial hair to aid autism services will take place in Astoria later this month.
The event, called Shave the Stache for Autism, will be held on April 28 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Redken Saloon Salon, located at 36-17 30th Ave.
Now in its eleventh year, Shave the Stache for Autism calls on hair-abundant residents to go under the razor and shave off their coveted beards or mustaches – all for a good cause.
Funds raised at the event will be donated to Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC), a New York City and Long Island-based nonprofit that supports children and adults with autism.
Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a developmental disability and people with ASD often have difficulties with social communication and interactions as well as restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC estimates that about one in 36 children has been identified with ASD.
Shave the Stache for Autism was established by Paul Halvatzis, whose family owns the Astoria-based real estate company Amorelli Realty. Halvatzis’ son Paulie has autism.
“Over ten years ago, my family challenged me to do something I had not done in more than 35 years – shave my mustache in an effort to raise funds to support QSAC,” Halvatzis said.
Halvatzis said the event has raised nearly $150,000 since then and hopes to generate around $20,000 this year.
He said Shave the Stache for Autism has brought in much-needed funds for the organization and helped spread awareness of the disorder. The QSAC provides a wide range of services such as after-school programs, a respite program, day schooling and early childhood services for those with autism — as well as emergency respite for caregivers.
“Over the years, QSAC has been there for my family and thousands of other families throughout New York City and Long Island,” Halvatzis said.
Halvatzis said that QSAC provides support services to more than 2,700 children and adults with autism and their families throughout the region daily.
“If you can’t make it, I hope you would consider contributing,” Halvatzis said. “Together, we’ll celebrate the great work QSAC has been doing to support the autism community for over 40 years and make a difference in the lives of children and adults with autism.”
For more information on the event, or to make a donation, click here.
For sponsorship opportunities, contact Pat Barrientos at QSAC at 212-244-5560 ext. 2015 or via email at [email protected].