November a month of transition. Cooler than fall, but not quite winter, the coats and scarves come out, soups are added to the regular menu, and everything seems a little bit cozier.
Its also a time when many men sprout that extra hairy coat across their upper lip, all to raise money for prostate cancer research though sometimes looking more prepubescent boy than Tom Selleck.
November has become the unofficial month of the moustache and time for the Movember fundraiser.
The campaign, which originated in Australia, aims to raise awareness about prostate cancer and mens health as well as money.
This year, for the first time, Lansdowne Centre has devised its own challenge.
All funds raised by the Richmond Moustache Challenge will go to Richmond Hospitals urology department.
I think its a fantastic cause, said Jason Roberts, general manager of real estate management services at Colliers International, Lansdowne Centres leasing company.
Its something thats also dear to my heart because my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year.
Lansdowne Centre marketing manager Bronwyn Bailey first brought the idea to Roberts attention.
As its mandate, the centre strives to stay involved in the community and the moustache challenge proved one such opportunity.
Lansdowne Centre is Richmonds community centre, so were always looking at ways to serve this community, said Bailey.
And it kind of went hand in hand because we started discussing it around the same time of my fathers diagnosis, Roberts added.
Bailey and Roberts set out to round up a crew of Richmond personalities to take part in the moustache growing challenge.
Every week, they will update pictures of each participants progress on the Lansdowne Centre website (pictures will also be published weekly in the Richmond News).
For a minimum donation of $5, voters can choose their favourite moustache or gentleman.
They can use whatever voting criteria they want, said Bailey with a laugh.
Besides Roberts, the contenders are Jeff Pockett, leasing manager at Lansdowne Centre, the News own director of advertising Rob Akimow, Matt Pitcairn, manager of communication and policy at Richmond Chamber of Commerce, Fire Chief John McGowan, Deputy Chief Tim Wilkinson, and Dr. Kenneth Poon and Dr. Daniel Rapoport from the Richmond Hospitals urology department.
All eight participants were on board without hesitation.
I signed on because its a really good cause, said Fire Chief McGowan. Mens health generally tends to be overlooked in society, so its important to bring it back and raise awareness about it.
Although McGowan said prostate cancer hasnt plagued his personal family, it has affected members of his work family.
Theres a higher risk within the fire department as firefighters are exposed to combustion and harmful chemicals, according to McGowan.
A first timer in a moustache growing challenge, and despite having had a full stache for most his life, McGowan is still wary of his competition.
Oh, itll probably take me the whole month to grow something, said McGowan.
I think some of the other men might have an unfair advantage, they can probably grow one within a week.
To vote for your favourite stache, visit lansdowne-centre.com/movember. Voting begins Thursday, Nov. 1.
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