From left, Stephanie Elliott, Simmons Hanly Conroy employee; John Keller, MustacheMarch4PD committee member; Tamara Ferguson, Simmons Employee Foundation Director and Simmons Hanly Conroy employee; Tina Bennett, MustacheMarch4PD committee chairperson; Elizabeth Jun, MustacheMarch4PD committee member; and Adam LeGette, East Alton Police Department and MustacheMarch4PD committee member, participate in a check presentation at Simmons Hanly Conroy.
ALTON, Ill – Simmons Hanly Conroy employees raised nearly $2,700 by creating or growing mustaches in a creative take on the Riverbend community initiative MustacheMarch4PD, which supports local law enforcement agencies and the community programs they sponsor.
At the beginning of March, employees were asked to make $5 “whisker wagers” on one of eight male contestants based on who they thought would have the best mustache by the end of the month. This contest, called “Sponsor a ‘Stache,” was coupled with another competition for both men and women. Entrants either grew or created mustaches and were judged in categories such as “Most Creative,” “Most Growth,” and “Best Overall.” Judging took place March 29. At this time, a photo booth was also set up – and for an additional donation, employees were joined by Alton police officers for photos, complete with fake mustaches and signs to hold that showed their support.
“Supporting the communities where we live and work is very important to us. Several of the firm’s employees and clients are former police officers or military veterans, so we understand how difficult their job can be,” said Chairman John Simmons. “MarchMadness4PD provided a great way to bring our employees together this past month and show our appreciation for the officers who do so much for us.”
One of these employees is retired Granite City police sergeant Aaron Flynn. He won the “Best Overall” award with a thick, black mustache.
Flynn said participation was important to him because events like these help build trust between the police and the communities they serve. During his 20-year career, Flynn worked patrol, undercover narcotics, the major case squad, and at various times, he was a detective and school resource officer.
“The job of a law enforcement officer is a constant image of negativity,” Flynn said. “When was the last time you heard of anyone calling the police when things were going great? Community support like this for our local police departments builds trust between the two and a sense that we’re in this together.”
MustacheMarch4PD was created in 2017 to encourage communities to support their local police departments by asking individuals and businesses to help financially support the vital programs they no longer have the funding for. MustacheMarch4PD Chairperson Tina Bennett said the firm went above and beyond the call of duty with its efforts.
“Many departments aren’t able to purchase equipment or have the money for school outreach programs,” Bennett said. “The participation from Simmons Hanly Conroy and their employees is outstanding and can help make this happen. This is a great way to show your local police departments that the entire company supports them. I would encourage other groups to do this sort of fun project with their employees next year.”