Coquitlam firefighters Travis Gillespie, left, Ryan Kirkham and Scott Norrington are growing mustaches to raise money for Prostate Cancer Canada.
Photograph by: Paul vanPeenen, Coquitlam NOW
What started off as a light-hearted conversation over beers in Australia has grown into a worldwide phenomenon that forsakes the razor while celebrating the 'stache.
Throughout November, the Movember campaign will see men grow moustaches in an effort to draw attention to men's health issues.
Dozens of members with Coquitlam Fire & Rescue have begun growing a soup strainer, and their collective efforts are being headed up by Kevin Powell and other members of the Coquitlam Firefighters Charitable Society.
"Everyone's been pretty good about getting involved," Powell said. "Any time there's something to volunteer for, especially with something like this, everyone jumps on board pretty quick."
More than 40 local firefighters have already signed up for the cause, raising about $2,100. Powell said this year's goal is to eclipse the roughly $3,000 raised last year when only a handful of firefighters and their family members jumped on board.
"Last year, it was more of a spur of the moment type of thing, where two guys from work -- Curtis Roussel and Adam Steffich -- did it and they did it just as a fun way to raise funds," Powell said. "This year, it's bigger and more organized."
According to www.movember.com, the campaign was dreamed up in 2003 and implemented a year later in the land Down Under. It has grown to include countries throughout Europe, North America and Africa. Last year, Canadian "Mo Bros" and "Mo Sistas" combined to raise $7.8 million -- the second-highest fundraising total in the world -- for Prostate Cancer Canada.
"There's no connection for me personally, but cancer is something that affects firefighters heavily," Powell said. "And everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer, so it's an important cause to take part in."
As for Powell's facial hair prospects over the next month, the 29-year-old PoCo resident doesn't expect to resemble Tom Selleck any time soon.
"It's pretty weak. In fact, it's very weak looking," he said of his 'stache. "I'll give it a try, but it will be a long 30 days."
Those interested in donating can log on to www.movember.com and search for the team "Coquitlam Fire."