Hair-owing experience ends for mustachioed fundraisers

Capt. Steve Farlow with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office Jail Division is just one of many sheriff’s office employees to grow a mustache for the Movember Challenge this month.

The opportunity to support a coworker was powerful motivation. Well, that and the threat of having to buy lunch for 43 men.

Whatever the reason for success, the several dozen men from the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office who signed up to grow mustaches this month as part of a charity team made it to the end of the challenge without shaving.

They even raised $485 along the way.

The men formed team Stash House through global charity Movember, showing camaraderie as an organization and support for Investigator Craig Tyer, whose younger brother died of prostate cancer this year.

Movember raises money for programs that combat prostate and testicular cancer.

The Sheriff’s Office men added an additional twist when they agreed that anyone who quit had to buy lunch for the rest of the team.

That threat alone likely kept Sheriff Stan Hilkey in the challenge, spokeswoman Heather Benjamin joked Tuesday.

Hilkey was one of nearly a dozen team members who got together Tuesday for a final photo before the Thanksgiving holiday. They were all sporting mustaches of varying colors and lengths, as the challenge came to an end.

Some, like Steve Farlow, captain of the Jail Division, had a full mustache after only a month.

Others, most notably Sgt. Jeff Byrne, had more patchy ‘stashes.

In Byrne’s defense, however, he had never grown a mustache before this month and predicted at the beginning of the challenge that it wouldn’t go well.

It didn’t.

In fact, his mustache didn’t start coming in until mid-November, prompting his colleagues to present him with the gift of a mustache grooming kit as a reminder he didn’t need it, and a pacifier with a fake mustache to prove even babies grow better facial hair.

“It became a thing for those who could grow a better mustache” than others, Farlow said with a laugh.

Both men planned to shave their mustaches immediately.

“It grew fast,” Farlow said. But “I don’t like it. My wife really doesn’t like it.”

The Sheriff’s Office wants to bring the challenge back in the future and plans to raise funds for the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation, a local nonprofit, Benjamin said.


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