A mustache like the one J.J. Garzone currently is sporting might get a quizzical eyebrow raise from some, or at least a quick double take.
Meticulously groomed and dyed dark at the top, the silver-tipped handlebar mustache isn’t the norm for a Tustin PD Police Services Officer, but there was no denying its awesomeness.
The unique, and obviously well-manicured, mustache took the top prize in the Tustin Police Officers Association Stache for Cash competition on Wednesday, Nov. 23, to raise money so more than 100 needy families in Tustin could have a proper meal on Thanksgiving.
About a dozen members of the Tustin Police Department participated in the annual mustache-growing competition that is part team-building and part charitable fundraising.
In year’s past, Tustin officers would participate in an annual Turkey Bowl football game to raise money for a HoneyBaked Ham turkey dinner giveaway every year at the Tustin Family and Youth Center.
(Hosting the dinner is a joint effort between the Tustin Police Officers’ Association, the Tustin Police Support Services Association and HoneyBaked Ham).
However, every football game left at least one Tustin officer injured and out of commission, which prompted organizers to change up the way they would host the Turkey Bowl.
This year, Officer Matt Roque and Sgt. Manny Arzate started a flag football program for students at Heideman Elementary School and the department sponsored the Turkey Bowl — a win-win for the community and the PD.
“Every year the entry fees from our Turkey Bowl would go to buy the Thanksgiving dinners, but the flag football program is free for these families,” Roque said. “We had to come up with another way to sponsor those dinners.”
So they went with mustaches.
Those who participated in the competition paid a $20 entry fee and several other police employees donated cash to the cause although they didn’t commit to growing facial hair.
The staches were judged by members of the police department, local businesses and even a barber from Floyd’s 99, who also donated a grand prize of products.
Each winner received a unique trophy made out of recycled metal parts donated by Derek MacDonald Artworks. The trophies will find a place in the POA’s office with photographs of the winners posted every year.
The competition played out as follows:
Best Mustache: J.J. Garzone
Thickest Mustache: Det. Tommy Lomeli
Cheesiest Mustache: Officer Matt Roque
Most Creative Mustache: Jonathan Parker, a fourth grade teacher at Heideman Elementary
Virtual Mustache: Sgt. Luis Garcia