Momentum for Movember

With Halloween officially come and gone, it is time to divert our attention to the next big event on the social calendar. And I’m not talking about Christmas.

I couldn’t help but notice the Canadian Tire flyer is already chock-a-bloc with all things Santa – everything from inflatable snowmen for the front lawn to “snow laden” pre-lit Christmas trees. But before we wade into holiday shopping madness, it would be remiss not to shine the editorial spotlight on a month-long event most guys are starting to love, and more and more girlfriends are starting to... ummm... tolerate?

I am, of course, talking about Movember, a charity fundraising/awareness event for prostate cancer where guys are encouraged to grow moustaches for the entire month of November.

Movember, which started in 2003 as a bet between two buddies in Australia to see who could grow the best moustache, didn’t really catch on in Canada until last year. In 2010, it went mainstream, with nearly half a million participants raising $76.8 million worldwide.

A trio of us in editorial at the Morning Star (myself, along with crime reporter Roger Knox and photographer Cory Bialecki) gave it a whirl.

Knoxville has lived with facial hair since age eight. Although clean-shaven now, he has only been spotted without facial hair twice in the previous 31 years (he affirms both times were New Year’s resolutions). Cory turns into mountain man whenever he steps foot in a forest for longer than 24 hours.

In short, both can grow facial foliage faster than a Chia Pet.

Me, not so much. I wasn’t too sure how my muzzy would turn out. But after four weeks of perseverance (and praying), I wound up with something that resembled something more than just dirt on my upper lip.

Sports editor Kevin Mitchell was a little slow on the uptake last year, so Bialecki took it upon himself to Photoshop a Wilford Brimley moustache on his mugshot. Kev, whose brother Glenn has joined our ranks this time around, might be jumping the gun a bit this year because he started his Fu Manchu in the last week of October. Like me, he could use a head start.

Whatever you want to call it – moustache, mo, duster, soup strainer, crumb catcher – I encourage all Mo Bros to unite for a worthy cause (and perhaps earn some giggles along the way).

Prostate is the most common form of cancer to affect Canadian men, afflicting one in seven. It will kill more than 4,000 men this year. The sad thing is, if detected early enough, it is 90 per cent curable.

The problem is there aren’t a lot of symptoms to alert its presence, which is why Prostate Cancer Canada recommends men over 40 consult their doctor about getting a prostate exam.

If you are going to take part in Movember, go all the way. Meaning, make sure it’s a moustache. Goatees just don’t cut it for this event, and if you currently have a stache, why not shave it off and start anew?

And why stop there? There are plenty of ways to groom, trim and wax a moustache to give it a Dali-esque twist (if I had more material to work with, I’d consider it).

Remember, every time someone points, snickers or groans upon seeing your moustache, you are helping the cause.

Just as the pink ribbon has come to symbolize breast cancer awareness, the mo has become emblematic in raising awareness for prostate cancer.

For more information on the Movember movement, to register as a team or individual, or to donate, visit ca.movember.com.

– Graeme Corbett is a sports reporter for The Morning Star. He writes a rotating At Random column for the newspaper

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