Locally, interest in the mo’vement has grown over the past few years, and Fort St. John has been registered as an official Movember network, making it easier for ‘stache growers to connect.
Organizing the official campaign this year are Marc Beerling and Neil Evans, who have been among the top EnergeticCity fundraisers for the past three years. Evans has raised over $16,000 over that time, and has a goal of $5,000 for this year. Beerling has also upped the ante with an extra incentive for donors hoping to see his soup strainer stick around.
“I’ve personally pledged that if I hit $3,000, which is quite a pledge, I won’t shave on the 30th,” he says. “I will keep it until November 1 of next year.”
With 10 per cent of that goal donated on the first day, it’s looking likely that his upper lip will be kept warm throughout 2014.
Beerling and Evans, along with their stached comrades, say they were drawn to the campaign for its fun nature that everyone can take part in.
“There’s so many different cancer research fundraisers going on out there,” argues Beerling. “Not to take away from them, but I and most men don’t seem to be really that into walking around a track for a day, so this one, for me, it’s easy.”
“It’s a very fun thing, and I think it’s an area of health care – men’s health specifically – that’s kind of never been touched up until this campaign came about really, or it’s never been promoted or advocated for,” adds Evans.
The Movember campaign agrees with that, saying it was born out of the recoginition that men are often reluctant to discuss health issues, and an engaging initiative like this one could help them become more “actively involved” in their own health.
“Just with the testing that they do, it’s a touchy subject for guys, of course, especially when you’re looking at the population up here. They don’t want to talk about it,” maintains Evans. “Your typical man’s man doesn’t want to talk about their health, right? And that’s the beauty about this is it gets the spark going; it gets the communication and the talking going.”
As both organizers have young sons, the importance of the campaign and awareness of men’s health issues has increased dramatically for them, and they hope it continues well into the next generation.
Movember’s also not just for those who can grow their own cookie duster; women can take part as Mo Sistas, who can take part in fundraising, raising awareness, and recruiting others. Fairy Wings Costumes and Things has ordered in moustache tattoos and stickers that can be worn, and the Movember t-shirts will be unisex.
Those would be suitable to wear to the official “shave off” party at On the Rocks on November 30, where hairdressers from Pheonix North Salon will be on hand to get rid of the new crumb catchers.
Several local businesses will be holding their own fundraisers, and Imagine That, Moose FM, and Marc Joseph & Trends Clothing have joined forces to create a Fort St. John-specific Movember t-shirt. The details are still being worked out, but at least $5 from the sale of each tee will go towards the campaign.
Overall, participants in Canada raised $42.6 million for the cause in 2012, of which 87.2 per cent goes to men’s health programs.
To sign up on the Fort St. John network or make a donation, click here.