'Staches for charity

Photo by Kelley SmithMembers of Michigan City Fire Local 475 gathered at the Ritz Club on Sunday to compare the mustaches they grew over the last month for the inaugural Mustache Bash to benefit Stepping Stone Shelter for Women.

MICHIGAN CITY – In its first-ever Mustache Bash, Michigan City Fire Local 475 raised more than $250 for Stepping Stone Shelter for Women.

Several City firefighters met on Nov. 1 for a shave-in at the Ritz Club, paying $10 to enter the contest. Even a few bar patrons joined in the charitable fun.

They then spent the entirety of November growing and grooming their ‘staches in anticipation of Sunday’s judging.

“It’s been good camaraderie with the guys and it’s for a good cause,” Capt. Mike Neulieb said. “Hopefully, next year we can get more guys to participate and raise more money for a local organization. And hopefully, we can do a whole beard.”

Neulieb said that because the MCFD is a paramilitary department, members aren’t normally allowed to sport beards. However, he hopes Chief Randy Novak will make an exception to the rule next November.

The big winners at Sunday’s judging were Capt. Chris Furness, who won Best of Show; and Operator Frank Rebac, who took home the honor for Best Style. The Dirtlip Award for the least-impressive mustache went to Firefighter Nick Pabon.

Operator Tony Stahoviak, who organized the inaugural fundraiser, said the union is grateful to Bike Stop Cycling for making a private donation to the effort.

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