Powell River firefighters advocate for men’s health

Fire department hosts events to promote Movember campaign

Powell River Fire Rescue kicked off Movember on Saturday, November 2, with a shave-down to help people get ready to rock their moustaches, and members want to invite the community to attend their Mo Social on November 21.

“The fire department has been fielding a team for Movember for several years now,” said auxiliary firefighter Cory Ashworth. “There’s the appeal of growing a moustache for a month, but more than that, we want to show people it’s important to talk about men’s health issues.”

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Started in Australia in 2003, Movember has grown to become the world’s largest men’s health charity, with events in 20 countries, over five million participants throughout its history, and more than $750 million CAD raised to support men’s health projects and initiatives around the world. Individuals and teams register on the Movember website, then grow moustaches, fundraise, and advocate for men’s health throughout the month of November.

“Men’s health touches everyone, because everyone has some man in their life, whether a relative or friend,” said Ashworth. “A big thing for me is being open about mental and physical health. As members of the fire department, we are a part of the community that touches all people’s lives, and it’s good for us to show that we are open to having those conversations. Maybe we can inspire others to talk, too.”

Barber Krystal Thompson was at Fire Station No. 1 for the shave-down event.

“I have boys, and as a barber my work centres on men,” she said. “I am really pleased to see the addition of a mental health focus in addition to raising awareness of prostate and testicular cancer. Some men come in for a haircut and just talk to me the whole time, and there should be no stigma about that.”

Both Thompson and Ashworth encourage members of the community to come out to the other fundraising events hosted by the fire department. Firefighters will have barbecues at Quality Foods on Saturday, November 9, Safeway on Sunday, November 17, and Save-On Foods on Sunday, November 24. All barbecues run from 11 am to 2 pm.

“I would also really love to see people come to our Mo Social on Thursday, November 21,” said Ashworth. “We’ll be at That Chicken Place in Townsite from 6:30 to 9 pm, showing off our moustaches, raising funds for our Movember team, and supporting a new local business.”

Tickets for the Mo Social are $15 and include wings and beer with sides of pasta salad, potato salad and coleslaw. Tickets can be purchased at That Chicken Place, 6251 Yew Street, or from any member of the fire department’s Movember team.

Last year, the Powell River and Area Emergency Services team raised more than $5,000. Funds go toward research and awareness around prostate cancer, testicular cancer, men’s mental health and suicide prevention.

To donate to the team this year, join them at any of their events or go to movember.com/team/2233559.

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