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Mustaches for Kids

By Matt Wood in Miscellaneous on Nov 14, 2006 5:13PM

The holidays are a great time for shocking your family. Whether you show up with a tattoo on your neck, arrive and announce that you're joining the Merchant Marine, or bring home that new girlfriend who is "just dancing to get through law school," it's always more fun to come bearing gifts that aren't wrapped. But how about showing up this year with something a little less permanent — a sweet mustache?

chicagoist_200611_earl.jpgMustaches for Kids is a volunteer-run charity that has raised over $150,000 in the past eight years for various children's groups. Official "growers" volunteer to cultivate their best Earl Hickey mustache in trade for donations of encouragement, fascination, and mockery from family and friends. This year's Chicago Mustaches for Kids group is raising money for the Off the Street Club, Chicago's oldest boys and girls club, a group that provides a safe place for kids to play and learn on the city's west side.

The rules for Mustaches for Kids are simple. Monday, November 27, is Clean Shaven Day, on which the partcipants will meet to shave all facial hair for a clean slate. The mustache has to be unadorned, no copping out by growing a goatee and shaving your chin on the last day. Starting then, they will gather donations from horrified girlfriends and gleeful co-workers. The individual fundraising goal is set at $50 per 'stache, but there is no minimum donation, so do what you can. The group will meet for weekly checkpoints at area bars to compare flavor savers and drink beer. Then on Monday, December 18, they will celebrate at the 'Stache Bash and pick the Mustache King of Chicago. By then, you'll be so proud of your handlebars that you won't even want to shave it for the family pictures.

While we're lucky that mustaches are still ironic for the time being, sporting facial hair without a supporting goatee, soul patch, or lambchops can be scary. We've compiled lists of the pros and cons to help you weigh the decision:


  1. For a good cause

  2. If successful, will look like Ron Jeremy (right)

  3. Place to store extra BBQ sauce after lunch

  4. Proudly asserts classic, bare-knuckled manhood

  5. Constant offers for "mustache rides" will now make sense


  1. Itchy

  2. If successful, will look like Ron Jeremy

  3. If unsuccessful, will look like Adam Morrison (right)

  4. Poor results not only question sanity (re: Morrison), but manhood as well

  5. Sexual gatekeeper in your life may decide to close shop for winter

Chicagoist still thinks that first pro outweighs the rather formidable cons, and this writer is going to back up the trash talk by growing his best Burt Reynolds masterpiece. Guys (and ladies too, if you can pull it off), you can participate by visiting the Chicago M4K site. Let us know if you're on board, and we'll post progress reports here and beg for donations.