Ladysmith men sporting moustaches for Movember

Many Ladysmith men are growing moustaches to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer and men's health during Movember.

Fundraising for Movember is well underway in Ladysmith. In top photo

It’s mid-November, meaning you may have noticed a surplus of stubble sprouting from some men’s upper lips over the past two weeks.

That newfound fondness for five o’clock shadow isn’t a lack of grooming scruples, though. Instead, it’s a sign of a month-long dedication to Movember, a moustache grow-a-thon geared towards raising money and awareness for prostate cancer and men’s health issues.

A handful of Ladysmith men have signed on this year, including a duo from 49th Café.

Colin Pickell, the café’s manager, and barista James Halliday comprise the 49th Café team. As of Friday morning, the pair had raised $75, and they planned to collect donations both at the café counter and via the café’s Facebook page.

Kayla Doyle, a co-worker of Pickell and Halliday’s, said she plans to donate, but her contribution will depend on how the team’s moustaches turn out at month’s end.

Steve Robinson, Steve Wilkinson, Dave Lamont and Jason Shepherd have formed a team of their own to represent Ladysmith Pharmasave. Through their own donations, and with help from friends, colleagues and family members, the Ladysmith Pharmasave Mo Brothers have raised $370 to date.

Robinson — who describes his work of moustache art as “the trucker” — said their goal is to raise $500 by the end of the month.

The Pharmasave Mo Brothers plan to wrap up their fundraising efforts through a Movember info booth at a “Ladies Night” event to be hosted in-store Nov. 25, Robinson added.

According to the Mo-movement’s Canadian website, Movember began in 2003 as a challenge among friends in Melbourne, Australia, to bring the moustache back into fashion.

Thirty “Mo Bros” and “Mo Sistas” participated in the inaugural Movember, but it wasn’t until 2004 that the movement decided to ally itself with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. Four hundred and 50 people signed on in year two, raising a total of AUD $54,000 for cancer research in Australia.

In 2006, the trend crossed the Tasman Sea to New Zealand, increasing participation five-fold and raising close to AUD $10M. It then spread to Canada, the U.S., Spain and the U.K. in 2007 and to a total of 14 countries by this time last year.

Worldwide, 850,000 participants contributed to the 2011 campaign, raising a total of CAD $125 million. Canada’s contribution, at $41.9 million, accounted for one-third of the global total.

Nearly 90 per cent of the funds raised by the Canadian campaign in 2011 were directed towards prostate cancer initiatives, with 77.7 per cent being donated directly to Prostate Cancer Canada.

More information on prostate cancer research, diagnosis and treatment can be found on the Prostate Cancer Canada website.

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