Mustache from the heart

Adam Ellsworth

Photo By larry dalton

Adam Ellsworth wants you to dedicate the space above your upper lip and below your nose to a good cause. That’s right: Ellsworth heads the Sacramento chapter of Mustaches for Kids, a charity that puts on a ’stache-growing competition to raise money for underfunded local-school projects. This year’s growing season begins soon—today, in fact, November 12, and runs through December 10, so head on over to right now to sign up or donate. And may the best ’stache win.

I notice that your upper lip is bare at the moment.

I’m capable of growing one. It’s just that I have this strange line that makes it look like I have two separate mustaches when I do grow it out. It’s pretty basic, because it doesn’t get too long. On a scale of one to 10, mine is a six. I don’t have the strongest ’stache, because the genes aren’t strong.

What’s your dream ’stache?

The Burt Reynolds, for sure.

Why are guys so self-conscious when it comes to growing face turf?

I tried to get a bunch of my friends to do it, but it was always, “My lady won’t let me do this, my lady won’t let me do that.” They always put the blame on their wives and such.

Of course.

There’s the women thing, and I think that sometimes they’re just embarrassed. A lot of guys don’t want to look creepy. We actually had a guy pull out last year because he saw pictures of himself and it pretty much scarred him. He said he would never grow a mustache again. Sometimes they just let their insecurities bring them down. Remember, “The mustache is more in the heart than on the face.”

What’s M4K?

Mustaches for Kids is a mustache-growing competition that raises money for kids. Basically, someone signs up to enter the monthlong growing competition and gets people to sponsor them and donate money to their cause. It’s kind of like a jog-a-thon, but instead of running, you’re growing facial hair.

Those interested can go to, or, to donate or sign up to grow. All money donated goes to help local schools purchase items for underfunded projects. For example, last year, the money I raised went toward purchasing a class set of Lord of the Flies for a local elementary school.

Describe the monthlong growing process.

When you enter the competition, you are required to shave your face clean of any facial hair. If you show up with a scruffy face, we’ll shave you up. From then on, you’re only allowed to grow a mustache. Each week, we will have a mustache checkpoint where everyone can check out the competition, talk ’staches and drink beer.

How do you determine the winner?

We conclude the growing season with a ’Stache Bash at Hangar 17. We have several rounds in which numerous winners are given titles. Some examples include “Sweetest ’Stache” and “Creepiest ’Stache.” We also have a mustache dance-off, and a Guinness foam retention round—taking a swig of Guinness beer and allowing the foam to collect on the ol’ push broom. I know another chapter also had a ’Stache Haiku throwdown.

How was last year’s competition?

It was the first year for the Sacramento chapter of M4K. There were about 20 competitors and, all together, we raised roughly $2,200. I’m really hoping to raise more this year. We had a couple of guys with some pretty beefy face rugs. I have realized that it’s not about how much hair you can grow, but how big your upper lip is. There has got to be some prime growing space from your lip to your nose.

What are some rules?

No growth hormones or coloring agents, no John Waters or Hitler type deals.

Yeah, that asshole ruined it for everyone.

Tell me about it. Geez!

Can women enter?

Yeah, we don’t discriminate!

Woo, I’m free to be me!

We’ll take any grower. It just may be harder for you to win the competition, but who knows?