BEND, OR -- The Bend Fire Department will raise money for its Community Assistance Program, this weekend, with a unique, hairy competition. Firefighter-paramedic Garret Caster took over as the non-profit’s Program Coordinator last year. He tells KBND News, "When I got involved in it, we did a handful of fundraisers and so we’ve had some people reach out and partner with us. The Central Oregon Mustache and Beard Society – which is a thing – reached out to us and said ‘hey, we want to do a charity event with you because we dig your program.’"
Saturday, the two groups will host the first Mustache Bash, at Good Life Brewing. Caster the event has something for everyone, "There’s three different categories to compete in: There is a groomed, a natural and a fake category – so, if you don’t have a mustache or you can’t grow one, you’re welcome to fashion your best attempt at one." A ticket is required to compete; spectators are free but donations are welcome. It's a family-friendly event and features live music from Trailer 31.
Bend Fire's Community Assistance Program allows firefighters to address critical needs. "All the money we raise goes to community members that we identify as having some type of crisis. We, as firefighters and first responders, are really good at problem solving and it’s kind of our role in the community; so, we like having the flexibility to exercise some creativity and good judgment to solve problems for people and help kind of bridge the gap in resources." He adds, "We see people in incredibly vulnerable times in their life. Sometimes we also see different types of crisis that might fall outside of a fire, medical or rescue-type emergency: someone who can’t afford groceries, someone who can’t get their kids jackets for the colder months, people who can’t afford a mattress to sleep on, people who can’t afford their medications."
Saturday’s Mustache Bash is 4 - 10 p.m. at Good Life Brewing, in Bend.