top of page
landing page banner graphic.png


Press Release

Press Kit

The event is organized by Ronald Harold Wolek, the grandson of the accomplished Syracuse athlete, Henry "Hank" Wolek.

SYRACUSE, New York February 1, 2023

On April 8th, 2023, Honest Amish and are collaborating to bring back the Hank Wolek’s Mustache & Beard Contest to Syracuse, New York. The world-class facial hair competition will be held according to NACBMA competition guidelines, and all proceeds will go towards supporting our host venue's non-profit organization, the Syracuse Polish Home. The contest is open to everyone, with categories for both real and creative facial hair. The whiskers deemed Best In Show by our judges will receive the Hank Wolek Memorial Cup. 

Competitors can register in advance at the Syracuse Polish Home Members Bar or online at The day’s festivities will begin with Judging at noon on April 8th, followed at 7:00 pm by a Polish buffet banquet dinner and Whisker Awards Ceremony, and culminating in a victory party from 8:00-10:00 pm to celebrate the winners of the competition.

In 1953, Hank Wolek started a mustache growing contest that became famous after appearing in the Syracuse Post Standard. Contestants were given eight weeks to grow their best mustaches, with the event concluding at a clambake in their honor from Hank’s Cafe. On April 9th, 2023, in addition to the revival of the mustache-growing competition and banquet, there will be over a dozen additional facial hair categories for participants to enter. This year's competition is presented by Honest Amish, an American company famous for their philanthropic sponsoring of charitable beard events around the world.

The event's mission is to raise money to refurbish the Polish Home’s Brunswick Bowling Lane and the room that houses it, including flooring and seating. The competition hopes to honor Hank Wolek’s legacy of supporting local athletics by donating the proceeds to the Syracuse Polish Home.  "My grandfather had a legacy of giving back to local sports, and the Syracuse Polish Home Lanes were an essential resource for many city athletes to become champions,” says Ronald. “It’s time to reopen the lanes and honor his legacy." Yola Brzostowski, Syracuse Polish Home President recalls, "One of the first questions from our board of directors was, can women compete too?". The Whiskerinas are ladies who compete in facial hair competitions wearing realistic or creative build-a-beard false facial hair pieces and are welcome to enter the April 8th event.

The Wolek family has a rich history in Syracuse as fourth-generation Polish-American immigrants who utilized the American Dream to become leaders in the beauty industry. is a third-generation Wolek business, specializing in Santa Claus Beards in addition to handmade hair pieces, including beards, mustaches, toupes, sideburns, chest hair, and even merkins and for people who can grow their own whiskers; also sells Honest Amish handmade highest quality beard soaps, balms, waxes, and oils, salves, and lip balms using only 100% natural, organic, and sustainable ingredients. 

The April 8th, 2023 competition presented by Honest Amish aims to welcome and bring the Syracuse community together to celebrate and preserve the cultural heritage of the city and to honor the legacy of Hank Wolek, a city champion, war veteran, and sponsor of local athletics in the 1950s.

- Henry “Hank” Wolek (1914-1979) was an all-star Syracuse athlete and war veteran who sponsored local city athletics in the 1950's. The family ran a cafe, beauty cottage, and later a mustache club that was the inspiration for

- Janet Wolek(1954-2014), Ronald’s mother, was a hair and makeup artist for big stars such as Sylvester Stallone, Hulk Hogan, and many others, later retiring as a legendary wig designer for Disney.

- Hank’s grandson, Ronald Harold Wolek, known professionally as Capt. Ron Wolek, is a famous artist in Hollywood known for his makeup work in films and TV shows. He also organizes the Key West, FL Fantasy Fest Beard contest.

- Honest Amish is the world's most trusted manufacturer of organic men's facial hair products and makes everything by hand and from scratch using original recipes in a small town in Pennsylvania.

bottom of page