10/03/2012 04:50 pm ET Updated Dec 03, 2012

Finalists for Coveted Goulet Award Announced by American Mustache Institute

From a decorated firefighter to a National Football League owner to the U.S. Senate's Sergeant at Arms -- after more than 900 nominations, the American Mustache Institute today announced 15 finalists and opened voting for the 2012 Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year award.

The Goulet award is not a "best mustache" contest but recognizes the person best contributing to the sexually dynamic Mustached American lifestyle over the past year and the winner will be announced at 'Stache Bash 2012, presented by Wahl Trimmers, on October 27 in Downtown Mesa, Arizona.

"As we gather worthy finalists each year in seeking the Goulet winner, we bear witness to the greatness of the Mustached American people," said Dr. Aaron Xavier Perlut, chairman of AMI. "As always and quite sadly, many worthy candidates left on the cutting room. But come 'Stache Bash 2012 in downtown Mesa, we will crown a deserving winner and toast their worthiness."

The 2012 finalist pool selected by AMI's Certified Mustacheology Analysis Unit (CMAU) -- which you can see in full here -- includes Mustached Americans of all walks: An NFL coach, a Virginia welder, a genomic scientist, an actor, a swim coach, activists and more.

The 2012 Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year award presented by Wahl Trimmers, honors the late and legendary Robert Goulet, whose voice, trademark mustache, sense of humor, and black leather jackets represented a quadruple-threat of talent the American Mustache Institute is proud to salute.

In recent years the award has been cited by Time magazine, the NBC Nightly News, physicist Stephen Hawking, and High Times magazine as being on par with the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Other past winners include Orlando-area firefighter Brian Sheets, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Clay Zavada, retired New York City police detective Tim Galvin, and in 2011, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher John Axford (read their stories here).

'Stache Bash presented by Wahl Trimmers, is the American Mustache Institute's annual costume-heavy music and mustache charitable benefit. The 2012 event will serve as the centerpiece of downtown Mesa's Nightmare On Main Street and benefit the Barrow Neurological Foundation, a non-profit support foundation dedicated to raising funds for Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona.