Why these Virginia firefighters are growing their mustaches: 'Mustaches and firefighters are just natural'

Posted at 11:35 AM, Nov 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-07 13:30:02-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Henrico Fire and Henrico CASA have partnered for the annual Mustaches for Kids campaign, creating the team Henrico Heroes. Their goal is to raise money by growing facial hair.

"Mustaches and firefighters are just a natural thing," Bill Boger, president of the Henrico Firefighters Association, said. "A long time ago, before we had air packs and things we'd wear on our backs to go into fires, you'd see firefighters with these really bushy mustaches. And that was to help alleviate some of the breathing of the smoke and some of the particles that are going into their noses."

While these mustaches used to protect firefighters, they're now being grown to help raise money for Henrico CASA, which advocates in court for abused and neglected children.

"It's a great partnership with the fire department because they see these children first," Kristin Blalock, Henrico CASA community engagement coordinator, said. "They serve them first during traumatic events, and then we walk with them after that, to walk them towards safety and security."

Henrico CASA has seen higher demand for its services in recent months, so CASA leaders hope to raise even more money this year, with a goal of 40 mustache growers bringing in a total of $75,000.

"We typically see people on their worst day, so it's nice to be able to give back to something fun like this," Boger said with a smile.

"We just want every child to be seen, to be heard, and to have what they need to be safe in the future," said Blalock.

Over the next 24 days, these firefighters' staches will grow.

"You'll see a lot of really good mustaches," laughed Boger. "You'll see a lot of really bad mustaches around Richmond."

Henrico Fire and Henrico CASA have partnered for the annual Mustaches for Kids campaign.
Henrico Fire and Henrico CASA have partnered for the annual Mustaches for Kids campaign.

And so will the hope that these heroes can save even more children in their community.

This month of growing mustaches will end on December 1 with a "Stache Bash" at Triple Crossing Beer — Fulton.

You can make donations towards your favorite growers here.

You can even donate with the hopes that some growers will either keep their staches or shave them.

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