November mission

Tatiana Rafter jokes that she will likely be single for at least a few more weeks.
But it's more than worth it.

Rafter, a center on the NWHL's Metropolitan Riveters, has embraced the NoShave November movement as she is going the entire month without shaving her legs as a way to help raise money and awareness for prostate cancer, mental health and overall men's health.

“I was kind of looking for a way to give back this month,” Rafter said. “It just seemed like a really great cause. I have some really awesome men in my life and I think that if something were to ever happen, like if my dad were to get cancer or something like that it would....I don't know. I just wanted to put some effort in and raise some money.”

Rafter's goal is to raise at least $2,000 by the end of the month. Rafter said that $2,000 is the maximum amount the online donation system she is using would allow. Unsure of exactly how much her campaign will bring in Rafter feels every little bit will help and is going with the mindset of you never know what you can accomplish unless you try.

“I think it's really just a positive thing,” Rafter continued. “I've never done it before. I thought about doing it last year. I'm not sure if it'll be a regular thing, but I wanted to try it out to see if I could be successful raising money.”
It comes as no surprise that Rafter, 25, would take on a challenge like this. One of the original members of the National Womens Hockey League, which is in its third season, Rafter has always been about giving back.

A member of the Buffalo Beauts during the league's first season, Rafter and her teammates did the Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk in Oct.2015.
Rafter was also a regular part of the Book Nook program at Buffalo's Women's and Children's Hospital where she would come in each week and read book to patients.

In December of 2015, Tatiana and her brother Maverick Rafter, organized the Rafter Christmas Classic charity hockey game to support Braden Pettinger, who was paralyzed during a junior league hockey game in Rafter's home province of Manitoba in November of 2015.

While the NoShave November has become very trendy as most men see how creative they can get with their facial hair, the thought of a woman not shaving her legs for a month is more likely to raise an a few inquisitive eyebrows. Rafter knows she is going against the grain of what society thinks is conventional, but ever the free spirit Tatiana just smiles and sticks to what she believes in.

“I'm careful enough to where I don't really care what people are thinking about it,” Rafter said with a chuckle. “I know that there are lots of women that do it to raise money, but people's perception of it is funny. I think it raises awareness in itself because it's not, I guess, a particularly classic feminine thing to do.”

Rafter said that her teammates on the Riveters have not only been very supportive in her mission they have taken it upon themselves to police the situation and make sure Rafter is holding true to her promise.

“Well they check my legs in the locker room to make sure I haven't shaved,” Rafter said as she flashed a smile. “It's kind of funny. They're like we'll be watching. We'll keep you accountable.”

Rafter said she feels her fund raising efforts will serve a dual purpose as money will not only go for prostate cancer, but also for mental health initiatives.

As her mission heads into it's final week Rafter said that knowing that what she is doing goes against what most people call “normal” has served as a perfect way to gain some attention and get her message across.

If anyone happens to shake their head in disbelief at her mission, Rafter said it's ok. Because the support from people whose opinions she values, like family, friends and teammates, has been so overwhelmingly positive that knows she has made the right choice.

Most of all, for Tatiana Rafter, knowing that her dad is proud of her is what matters most.

“The funniest part is my dad was super stoked!” She said. “I can't remember his exact comment, but it was something like 'I'm proud of you as always.' And I was like you're proud of me?' It was so funny.”

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