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Second annual mustache contest grows

Holiday spirit prompts teachers to stop shaving

Participants of the Second Annual Tom Selleck Mustache contest pose at the awards ceremony. Sitting from left: George Sturiale, John Behm and Peter Chapman. Standing from left: Michael Mistretta, AS. James Szalach, Josh Williams, Keith Lamphere, Brian Sevey, Jim Ryan, Rob DeMass and Rob Pickup.

Participants of the Second Annual Tom Selleck Mustache contest pose at the awards ceremony. Sitting from left: George Sturiale, John Behm and Peter Chapman. Standing from left: Michael Mistretta, AS. James Szalach, Josh Williams, Keith Lamphere, Brian Sevey, Jim Ryan, Rob DeMass and Rob Pickup. Lori Ruhlman

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Student winner Mike Fabrizio poses with his prize (the faux mustache) along with Rachael DeWitt, one of the judges (who created a mini mustache of her own for the photo).

— A contest at Skaneateles High School and Middle School raised money for Toys for Tots in a way that was visible, ever-changing and fun.

Fifteen teachers and students stopped shaving this fall to let their facial hair grow for the second annual Tom Selleck Mustache contest.

By the time the participants gathered for the judging and awards one day after school, there was little doubt about who had joined in. There were all different lengths of beards as well as mustaches, and there were a variety of trimming styles as well.

Awards were given for Best in Show (teacher Keith Lamphere); Most Creative (teacher Rob DeMass, founder of the contest); Most Pathetic (teacher Justin Suhr); Best Student (Mike Fabrizio) and Best Beard (teacher Josh Williams).

The contest raised $240, DeMass said. People donated in order to participate, and about 15 other people made donations as well. All money went to Toys for Tots.

DeMass got the idea when he saw a similar contest on the internet a couple of years ago and decided to try it in Skaneateles.

“In two years we have raised $525,” he said. “Participation has been pretty steady, and with the addition of the ‘Best Beard’ category, we should see even more participants going forward.”

He added, “I think everyone, including the students, enjoy the contest. Next year we hope to add more students, and hopefully the ‘faux’ category can get some more people involved as well.” Three students participated this year.

Judges included curriculum coordinator Dr. Margaret Culkowski, substitute teacher Craig Phinney and student Rachael DeWitt.

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