No-Shave November Shave-Off Event with Bob and Marlene Ceragno


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On November 30, 2021, Bob and Marlene Ceragno hosted their annual Shave-Off event, which raises awareness and funds for Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC), and topped out at $5,000, at their North Bergen, New Jersey, Eye Contact Vision Center. 

Support showed up in force through No-Shave November events, as the North Bergen Police Department, North Bergen Department of Public Works, other Hudson County First Responders, and the Guttenberg Police Department put down their razors November 1, then gathered Nov. 30 with fuzzy faces to wind down No-Shave November at the Shave-Off event. 

The Ciragno’s Shave-Off was the culmination of No-Shave November, but Bob was quick to point out that these events wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and support of Mayor Nicholas J. Sacco, North Bergen Police Chief Peter Fasilis, members of the police department, members of the public works department, Eddy and Rene of Jagged Edge Spa & Salon, and countless others. 

This was the first year the North Bergen Department of Public Works hopped aboard the No-Shave November events, and their enthusiasm shined as brightly as their truck with the stenciled No-Shave November logo. The public works department took a page from the Guttenberg Police Department and North Bergen Police Department who in the past have driven colorectal cancer awareness-wrapped cars and trucks during No-Shave November, which serve as visual cues to create awareness of the importance of colorectal cancer screening.

Although firefighters cannot grow beards for No-Shave November, since beards interfere with the seal of the SCBA mask they are required to wear, Bob is sure to drive the message of the importance of colorectal cancer screening to them. He tells them to get a colonoscopy if they have signs or symptoms. “Get a colonoscopy,” said Bob. “I can’t tell you how many people have told me, ‘I’ve had a colonoscopy because of you.’”

Eddy and Rene have volunteered their services every November for the Shave-Off. In 2020, new Police Chief Fasilis kept alive the tradition of No-Shave November within his department. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 safety precautions, the Shave-Off event was scaled down significantly. Police Chief Fasilis said awareness and screening are important since colorectal cancer can be prevented. 

Bob and Marlene said it felt good to be back in the store for No-Shave November Shave-Off 2021. 

Bob and Marlene have owned the Eye Contact Vision Center store for the past 20 years. They’ve been married 38 years and have two sons. When Bob had signs and symptoms, he went for a colonoscopy and was diagnosed with stage II colon cancer at age 59.

In 2016, while Bob was being treated for cancer, Marlene decided to surprise Bob for his 60th birthday. As a testament to Marlene’s cleverness and creativity, she had Bob pick up a cake with a photo of his sister-in-law and her husband under the guise of attending their anniversary party. Meanwhile, Marlene had Bob’s surprise birthday cake already at the party when she and Bob arrived. Bob, a man who admittedly doesn’t like surprises, loved this one.

Marlene said Bob didn’t need gifts, so she looked into organizations where people could make donations in his honor. Marlene’s research took her to Fight CRC, and the Ceragnos raised $3,000 for Fight CRC.

Since then, people have remembered Bob’s story and continue to rally around him today. The North Bergen Police Department took it upon themselves to participate in No-Shave November and the Shave-Off event in Bob’s honor. Mayor Sacco declares March Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and creates a proclamation for Bob each year. 

The North Bergen community continues to uplift and amplify the cause of raising awareness and funds for Fight CRC, and the Ceragnos continue to pay forward the kindness shown to them. Bob and Marlene are relentless champions of hope. Each March, the Cergnos donate $10 from the sale of each pair of glasses to Fight CRC. They donate $20 if the glasses are blue.

Even though November is over, there’s still time to make a donation.