On May 17, South Florida rejoiced as manatees jumped, meth-heads tweaked and retirees raised their glasses at early bird dinners all over the state.

The South Florida Chapter of the American Mustache Institute (AMI) awarded its 8th annual Follicular Excellence Scholarship to John Vincent Hepp who bested dozens of graduating men and women to take home the coveted award.

Heinz and Hepp

AMI’s Follicular Excellence Scholarship is annually awarded to Jensen Beach High School (Florida) graduating seniors by the South Florida Chapter of AMI. The prestigious honor is the world’s only mustache scholarship and consists of a certificate of achievement, a firm hand shake from AMI’s South Florida Chapter President and Bureau Chief Hans Heinz, a picture of said handshake, a compact disc of Hall and Oates Greatest Hits, and five dollars cash money to be spent on tuition, room and board, text books or any entertainment consisting of Mr. T.

This year the scholarship was sweetened by the Martin County Sheriff’s Department which generously added an extra $20 to the scholarship fund.  The extra money was delivered personally by Officer Thomas MacDonald, who wears a dapper lip sweater himself and is broadly considered the most handsome deputy on staff by the Martin County community.

Hepp and Martin County Police





















“Having the opportunity to promote the mustached American lifestyle is something I live for,” said Officer MacDonald.

For award-winner Hepp, winning the coveted scholarship is something he has dreamed about this for years.

“I first saw Mr. Heinz and his glorious mustache when I was a freshman” he noted. “At that moment I knew my life had changed.”

Hepp is taking his new-found riches and prestige to Baker University in Kansas to study computer science and video game development.

“I plan on making the first virtual reality game that will show the awesomeness of having a thick lip sweater,” he said despite his hesitance to provide details about his groundbreaking plans in cyber space.  “My invention will give those poor souls who cannot grow a decent mustache the opportunity to live out their fantasies!”

We wish him well.  Godspeed young man. Godspeed.