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'Stache Story: local men sport facial hair for all the right reasons

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
October 27th, 2010

 As the month of November passes and you see more and more men (and perhaps a lady or two) sporting moustaches about town, don’t be alarmed – it’s not a new trend, and ‘staches are not back in style.

Not unless, that is, developing a fine crop of facial hair will ensure money and awareness for an important cause.
 
The Element Night Club’s Florio Vassilakakis has enlisted the help of many local men in support of Prostate Cancer awareness and research, through a program called ‘Movember’. Originally based in Australia, Movember has become a world-wide movement held every November in honour of men’s health issues, and has raised more than $2 million worldwide this year alone – and it’s not even November yet.
 
“There’s already so much support for other health issues like breast cancer, but no one wants to talk about prostate cancer … and one in six Canadian men will face a diagnosis of prostate cancer at some point in their lives,” said local radio celebrity Drex (of Mountain FM’s Drex and Johnson morning show). “Early detection is key to surviving prostate cancer. A finger in the bum (prostate screening) is two seconds of embarrassment that could save your life…. that’s an important message, and we’ve got a microphone, so of course we’re on board. ”
 
Drex is but one of many highly-visible local men who are joining Vassilakakis in the Movember movement. Other ‘stache starters include city councillors Kevin Chernoff and Russ Hearne, Mountain FM’s Shaun Johnson, city director of Transportation and Civic Works Chris Barlow, and Sculpturewalk’s Pat Field.
They challenge all comers to a moustache-growing contest … you can sponsor them, check on their progress, follow the movement nationally and internationally, and learn more about moustaches than you ever, ever wanted to know, by visiting movember.com – where they even have different style guides and moustache-style suggestions.
 
Rumour has it, city council will also be voting on a motion, to be put forward at the next regular council meeting Nov. 1, to declare the month of November ‘Movember’, instead.
 
Local participants can also compete against each other – this Friday starting at 10 p.m. will see registration at the Element (or you come in earlier in the day), where they’ll take your “before” picture. All registrants will then reconvene for the judging at the Element Nov. 26 (with celebrity guest judges Chris Bell, of Krueckl Financial, who has been growing his moustache since Grade 7, and local artist Pat Field, whose luxuriant, almost bouffant facial adornment has been growing since 1973 – the two will also be shaving their moustaches to help raise money for the cause).

 
The moustaches will be judged in four categories, with exciting prizes for each to be announced :

 
Grand Prize: Man of Movember – The ultimate prize awarded to the stand out Mo Bro who has the best Mo, costume and attitude. Has a true appreciation of the Mo and wears it with pride;

Lame Mo – An encouragement award for the Mo Bro who has tried his best but still only produced a wispy effort;

Best Team Mo – Safety in numbers with this category. Looking for detail, Mo’s groomed the same, dyed hair, matching costumes etc;

The Ultimate Mo – A Mo Bro judged purely on the grooming and styling of his Mo.

 
“Our goal is raise $5,000 and place within the top 20 teams in Canada,” said Vassilakakis. “You can donte to a singel team member or to the whole team (the money all goes to the same place), you can do it with a credit card online and still get a tax-receipt from the Canadian Cancer Society – there’s a thousand ways to participate.”
 
The Castlegar/Element team has so far raised $755, with more donations sure to pour in as the month progresses.
 
You can follow their efforts throughout the month on Facebook, as well. For more information, contact the Element at 250-365-8066 or visit www.movember.com

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