Head to the Burn Foundation's web site to see the before and after photos, and vote for the best mustaches!
Onondaga County The mustache is back.
Or, at least, it was for the month of April as men from fire departments, ambulance corps and the general public grew the finely-shaped facial hair to raise money for the Burn Foundation of Central New York.
In total, about 70 men donned the dos for the month, looking for sponsors of their staches. The funds raised will go to benefit survivors of burns, who are supported by the Burn Foundation.
“It’s just a wonderful thing they’re doing because it benefits our burn camp and other events,” said Chris Monahan, vice president of the Burn Foundation and a nurse at the burn center.
This is the second year the mustache contest has been run. Last year, firefighters at Moyers Corners and in Syracuse grew the mustaches. This year, they married the departments and opened it up to the general public. Eight emergency services departments participated.
“As a firefighter, we see people get burned quite frequently,” said Syracuse firefighter Seth Shapess. “This helps raise funds so it’s only going to help us and the people we protect.”
Last year’s contest between the two departments raised more than $8,000 for the foundation.
Organizer Stephen Zaferakis, of Moyers Corners, hopes to surpass that amount this year. Funds are being collected through the end of the month.
Ron Florczykowski, the first assistant fire chief of the Cicero Fire Department, was one of the top fundraisers, netting $865 for the not-for-profit. He joins Brendan Hinds, of Geddes, as one of the top fundraisers. Hinds, who works at Rural/Metro and a volunteer firefighter for Solvay, says the contest is a good way to give back.
“I’ve seen people affected by burns,” he said. “Burns do change your life. Burns can really change somebody, so it’s important to raise that awareness.”