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Moustaches sprout for a worthy cause
Movember gets plenty of support in Fort Simpson and Fort Providence

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, December 8, 2011

More male upper lips sported bushy growths last month as a fundraiser grew in popularity.

NNSL photo/graphic

All the male teachers and staff at Deh Gah School in Fort Providence grew moustaches for Movember. The moustache-laden men included, from left, Christopher Carson, Jeremy Kielstra, Mike Leishman, Jim Snider, Jonas Landry and James Hatch. - photo courtesy of Jim Snider

Men in at least two Deh Cho communities grew moustaches of various sizes and lengths during November to support Movember, a fundraiser challenging them to grow the 'stache to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer.

Dave Magarey introduced the movement to Fort Simpson three years ago. That year the nine official members of the village's team, the Deh Cho Mofos, raised $3,370 for Prostate Cancer Canada.

Alex Campbell organized the campaign last year. The sixteen people who registered with the team raised more than $2,460.

Jermaine Gargan, the co-organizer of the Movember wrap-up party, said even more men grew moustaches this year in the village, although the team only had three official members.

Gargan said he has at least four friends who grew moustaches just because it was Movember, and other people were doing it.

After three years of moustache growing, Gargan said awareness of the event and prostate cancer has increased in the village.

Gargan, who has participated for all three years, said his moustache has improved every year, although he still has a hard time growing a full moustache within one month.

A variety of moustache styles were on display at the party on Dec. 2 that officially wrapped up Movember in the village.

"It's an amazing cause," said Paul Simon, who organized the event together with Gargan.

Simon, who was sporting a moustache, drawn on with face paint, said he wasn't sure how many men grew moustaches this year or how much money was officially raised, but added a lot of residents stopped shaving their upper lip for the month.

Moustache growing wasn't confined to Fort Simpson.

All six male staff members at Deh Gah School in Fort Providence took up the Movember cause, raising more than $1,500 during the month. Jim Snider introduced the idea with co-workers after being encouraged to join Movember by a friend in Yellowknife.

"It's for a good cause," said Snider.

The staff members explained their moustache growing to the student body during one of the weekly assemblies in November. Snider said he was particularly impressed by one student who donated $40 of his own money to Jeremy Kielstra, one of the teachers who participated.

While Snider has already gone back to being clean shaven, two of the staff, Mike Leishman and Jonas Landry, kept their moustaches. Snider said he expects all the moustaches to make a return next November.

According to the Movember Canada website, there were 246,428 registrations for the event this year. A total of $38,447,141 was raised for Prostate Cancer Canada.

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