Whatever the name, plenty were on display Saturday at the fourth annual “Mustache Bash” at Corby's Irish Pub.
Featuring more than 130 Elkhart and St. Joseph County firefighters, the mustache celebration and contest benefited Hoosier Burn Camp and the Firefighters Cancer Support Network.
“We started this … basically just as an excuse to have a party,” said Mustache Bash founder Chris Martin, a firefighter with Clay Fire Territory. “You know how winters are around here. We just thought we would have some fun.”
The event has benefited Hoosier Burn Camp, a week-long summer camp for juvenile burn victims, since year one, Martin said, and the Firefighters Cancer Support Network the past two years.
“Basically,” he said, “those are charities close to what we do and directly related to our profession.”
The event Saturday marked the culmination of a monthlong mustache-growing competition and featured outstanding mustache awards in five categories:
The theme was “Old West,” and many of the competitors dressed the part, with plenty of boots and chaps and cowboy hats on display.
Clay Fire Territory firefighter Ray Hinz stood out in a Native American tunic and headdress, along with a well-groomed handlebar mustache.
“Everybody else was dressed up as cowboys,” he said, “so I thought I'd be an Indian.”
Similarly, Kenny Roth attracted plenty of attention as Lt. Jim Dangle, the mustachioed “Reno 911!” character best known for his fondness of short shorts.
“I'm getting some very wide-eyed looks, as you can imagine,” he said.
For his part, Martin accented his mustache, a bit of a lip caterpillar in mustache slang, with jeans and western shirt.
“I would probably get ‘Best Attempt,' ” he said of his mustache. “But I give out the awards, so that won't happen.”
Between entry and sponsorship fees, Martin said he hoped to raise about $6,500 this year for the two charities, about the same as last year.
“That would be 20 grand in four years,” he said, “and I think we're on track for that.”
Staff writer Erin Blasko:email@example.com