(Seguin) -- Although they didn't give Santa a run for his money, several folks still managed to come in a close second during this year's Guadalupe County Sheriff's Office "No Shave November" contest. Cpl. Donny White, who coordinated the effort, says the contest which ran a bit longer than just November again helped to generate some much needed funding for the Guadalupe Regional Medical Foundation and those fighting cancer.
Cpl. White says he proud of each individual's efforts to not only grow but maintain the best mustache or goatee possible.
"Last year, we did it for only a month in November. This year, the sheriff was cool enough to let us grow from October to November. This year, we raised a total of $4,714 which will be donated to the GRMC Medical Foundation Fund again this year," said White.
The cost for the deputies to enter the contest was $50 per month for a full beard or $25 per month for a mustache or goatee.
Winning the award for Best Beard was Deputy Travis Caddell. Caddell says lucky for him, growing out the beard didn't take too much effort.
"(I) didn't actually have it, just in three weeks it was like this so...(It helped me) save money on raisers and it was for a good cause so it was worth it," said Caddell.
Grabbing the honors for Best Goatee and Mustache was Investigator Robert Shockley. Now although he won the award, Shockley isn't so sure it was a fan favorite.
"It's about mixed review. Some hate it. Some love it," said Shockley.
Growing out a beard can also sometimes be unpredictable leaving awards like Ugliest Beard on the table. However, this year, that award was graciously accepted by Detention Officer Robert Bloom.
"I didn't do anything. All I did was grow it," said Bloom.
Growing out the facial hair, however, might not have been as difficult as selecting the top winners for the contest. Local resident Eddie Miller, who served as one of the judges, says the deputies have proven again and again that they support the entire community.
"(I) saw the contest in the paper and it was just bragging rights. I thought that's not right. These sheriff's deputies that I've ever dealt with in Guadalupe County are second to none in the state. You know, we got 256 counties or whatever and these guys have always been there. Anytime I've called them, they've been nice respectful, polite. Even when I get stopped, they don't jack me up. I thought, 'man, they need something more than bragging rights.' I went and bought the plaques. It was fun, it was absolutely -- it was hard. There's some good looking goatees and beards, but the ugliest beard part of it, there was several deputies that really shouldn't have entered because it was so bad. But that's why we had this contest, it was all in good fun," said Miller.
A local professional was also called in for expertise. Angela Billings, of Professional Hair Salon, says although she doesn't work with beards and mustaches, she does know a thing or two about looking good.
"I thought it was a really neat fundraiser. It's going to do a lot of good and I'm sure they had fun with it. They got to go out of their box a little bit, so I think it's a really good cause," said Billings.
Rounding out the trio of judges was Lois Elley. Elley, who works for the human resources department for Guadalupe County, says she was honored to be a part of the contest and couldn't be more proud of her colleagues.
"Some of them -- I had to take a double take to look at them, 'was that you really?' They do definitely look different than what they do when they're clean shaven. I have to take two or three looks at them and say 'sorry, I'm staring but I've got to make sure you're who you are,' but it's very good. I'm very proud of all of these guys," said Elley.
Guadalupe County Sheriff Arnold Zwicke, who himself will be sporting his own Santa beard when he visits local nursing homes later on this month, says although growing a beard is not part of the uniform, it is a great illustration of the kinds of people who serve and protect this community.
"I almost got upset when I saw one not shaved in uniform and then, I remembered what it was about. I'm not too wild about an officer in uniform with a beard, but for the cause I was willing to go the extra step to allow that. It's good. It was a good little morale booster and a little poking fun at each other for the last two months and for a very worth cause. Almost $5,000 raised, that's not a bad deal," said Zwicke.
White says at the end of the day or in this case,the end of two months, it's all about the sheriff's office doing its part in the fight against cancer.
"My dad passed away of cancer. So it's kind of a way to help donate money to hopefully put towards research and help find a cure," said White.
The Guadalupe Regional Medical Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that seeks to advance the mission of the Guadalupe Regional Medical Center through the development of philanthropic resources and community awareness. Money donated helps to provide innovative, life-saving and compassionate care to local residents.