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10th annual Stache Crawl back in Dewey Beach

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Fundraising event kicks off July 16 at Starboard

It's immediately noticeable, good or bad; so it takes a certain kind of personal confidence to wear a mustache proudly.

For the 10th annual Dewey Beach Stache Crawl, alcohol and charitable giving will be the two main components of confidence for the expected 1,000 mustachioed participants.

"It's a fun time, for a good cause," said Chad Minix, crawl organizer, of the Saturday, July 16 event.

The crawl began in 2006, three years after the unexpected death due to heart failure of 20-year-old Kellen James Poultney of Middletown. Minix and a couple dozen friends and family members were looking for a fun way to honor Poultney's good-natured, charitable ways.

"The mustache doesn't really mean anything. Kellen didn't have one. We just thought he would think it's funny," said Minix, who had known Poultney since middle school.

At the time of Poultney's death, he was a student at the University of Delaware, so the first crawl took place in Newark, but, said Minix, the event was moved to Dewey the second year and it's been growing ever since.

Dan Barnes, childhood friend of Poultney and Dewey Beach Liquors manager, said it's hard to believe how the crawl has grown: from a couple dozen people in Newark the first year, he said, it sold out 750 T-shirts last year. He expects to see nearly 1,000 crawlers this year.

"I don't grow a very good mustache, but some of the guys do," he said. "It's about the fun."

For $20, participants receive an official Stache Crawl T-shirt, which gets them discounted drink specials at participating bars in town for the day. At Northbeach, there will be a free barbeque for participants.

"You end up getting more than $20 in discounts and food, so the cost pays for itself," said Minix.

Minix said 100 percent of the proceeds from the T-shirts go toward the KJP Foundation, which gives it to charities Poultney would have been proud to help - kids in need and Special Olympics participants. His mother and sister are teachers in the Appoquinimink School District so they know who to contact to find out who would most benefit, said Minix.

Among the things last year's money went to, said Minix, were close to 100 backpacks filled with school supplies.

Minix said, at this point, people come from several different states to participate in the crawl. These folks happened to be in Dewey the same weekend of the crawl one year, and they keep coming back, he said.

"People love the crawl and are happy to be doing something good," he said. "It's just a great way to keep Kellen's memory alive and make new memories in his honor."

There will also be a best mustache contest in three categories - legit, traditional, creative. Winners for each category, who win a Starboard gift card, will be announced the afternoon of the event.

Individuals interested in participating in the crawl can register the day of at 1 p.m. at the Starboard. More crawl information can be found on its Facebook page.

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Original Publication Date: July 8, 2016

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