110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Voting continues on Facebook
By Jen Horton
posted Dec 5, 2013 - 10:41:41am
These are the good guys, the guys and gals with the awesome trucks and the cool gear. They are the ones who get arrive first at car accidents, medical emergencies and fires.
And, they're the guys who got hairy for charity, because helping people is their business.
Engineer Justin Desy has been with the DeLand Fire Department for nine years. He explained “Mouvember,” the mustache-growing contest being staged by members of the DeLand Fire Department’s firefighters’ union.
The DeLand Firefighters, he said, are always looking for interesting ways to give money to charity.
Last year, the department rallied around “no-shave November” as a contest. It was a success, so they brought back the mustache-growing event for 2013.
"We can't grow a beard because of our face pieces," Desy said.
But, they could grow mustaches. And grow them, they did: handlebar mustaches, and 1970s mustaches. Tough-guy mustaches, and ... uh, almost mustaches.
"Last year was our first year, and it went over really well," Desy said.
The contest, he said, is being staged by the DeLand Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 4347, and the money paid to charities comes from the union’s charity account, not the city’s coffers.
This year, the firefighters will donate $700 to local charities; the “best mustache” winner gets to name the charity that will get $500.
"We added another category this year, for ‘pitiful mustache,’" Desy said. "Some guys had grown them for a week and were like, 'This isn't going so well.'"
The winner of the “most pitiful” prize gets to name the charity that will get $200.
The money given to the charities is generated at DFD events, mainly from the DeLand Firefighters Pub Crawl. The group also sells T-shirts at the DeLand Bike Rally and Downtown DeLand’s Biketoberfest.
This evening, Thursday, Dec. 5, the DeLand Firefighters will be guest bartenders at Abbey, 117 N. Woodland Blvd. in Downtown DeLand, starting at 7 p.m. All the tips they earn will go into the charity account
"We're going to take over the bar for a couple of hours," Desy said. "There will be a couple of firefighters in kilts. It's always a good time."
The firefighters grew their mustaches, and suffered for their causes, during all of November.
Come Dec. 1, there was a scramble for the razors.
"I think just about everyone shaved on Dec. 1," Desy said.
Voting for the “best mustache” and “most pitiful” mustache continues on the DeLand Firefighters Facebook page. Click on the photo albums, and "like" a firefighter to vote.
The winners will be announced Sunday, Dec. 8.
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