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Sheriff’s employees shave off a monthlong sentence at the Crescenta Valley Station

Fur was flying on the first day of November at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station, where several employees marked the end of a monthlong commitment to grow mustaches — and funds — for a local children’s charity with a brief but satisfying shaving party.

“It’s just awful,” said a mustachioed station Capt. Chris Blasnek, who once sported the look but quit 25 years ago and never looked back. “I can’t believe people like this.”

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Several station employees, some to the chagrin of wives and girlfriends, grew out their ’staches to raise funds for 999 Kids, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department relief organization that provides items for children with special needs living in the foster care system.

Named for the “officer in need” radio code, 999 Kids provides about 1,000 children each year with specialized equipment and services such as sport wheelchairs, computers, special education classes and medically oriented toys and games.

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“It’s all about Sheriff’s Department personnel working to get these kids what they need,” Blasnek said of the effort.

The fundraiser was the brainchild of Field Sgt. John Gilbert, who’d taken part in similar mustache-growing events at other stations and asked permission to organize such a campaign at the CV Station.

As of last week, participants had raised $515, with more coming in. Gilbert reminded the captain of a promise he’d made at the beginning of the October.

“Early on, the captain made the commitment, ‘I’ll match whatever you collect, John,’” Gilbert reminded Blasnek.

“Famous last words,” Blasnek replied with a laugh.

The money collected, it was time to get shaving. Detective Sgt. Alan Chu had brought his own razor, while Sgt. Jeff Curran snagged a tiny red disposable one from a hygiene kit. Standing in front of the men’s restroom mirror, Chu, Blasnek and Curran made short work of the task.

They rinsed and dried their new smooth faces, smiling from a sense of relief.

“That feels so much better,” Blasnek said. “Even the air smells better.”

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