Mustache movement fights cancer

Sandpoint firefighters Paul Henderson, Kevin Amorebieta, Michael Gow, Allo Pucci, Britain Whitley, Glen Cassidy and Jake Hilton show off their Movember mustaches. (Photo by CAMERON RASMUSSON)

SANDPOINT — There’s no cause for alarm if the local firefighters all look a little different these days.

The folks at Sandpoint Fire Department are rocking some fine mustaches as a part of the worldwide “Movember” campaign. Designed to increase awareness of testicular and prostate cancer, the campaign is responsible for sprouting millions of mustaches around the globe.

Movember is similar to fine American college traditions like No-Shave November with an important twist. Participants begin the month clean-shaven and steadily grow out a mustache throughout the following weeks. The more eye-catching the mustache the better, because they serve as a billboard to generate discussion about the campaign.

Since its foundation in 2003, official campaign affiliates have raised almost $300 million in support of cancer research and other initiatives and prompted two million individuals to take up the mustachioed call. It has also raised an unquantifiable amount of awareness regarding men’s health. Campaign materials lay out the realities of male health risks and provide tips for a lifetime of health, including regular physicals, a knowledge of familial health history, a regular schedule with a balanced diet and exercise routine.     

Here in Sandpoint, the firefighters have been active on the fundraising front. They plan to also contribute to the fundraising side of the coin with a mustache party scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday at MickDuff’s Brewery. All proceeds generated from the party will be donated to prostate cancer research. Those sporting a mustache get into the party at a discounted $10, a rate any mustache-challenged attendees can earn with some fake facial hair. In addition, the firefighters are encouraging costumes that best show off those mustaches. One free keg of pale ale will be available to attendees, and if it runs out, MickDuff beer is available at normal prices. Finally, the kitchen will be closed, but the volunteer firefighters are providing more than enough pub mix to go around.  

The fire department has made a habit of supporting fundraising and awareness initiatives for health research in the past. Every year, firefighters Clint Frank, Britain Whitley and Allo Pucci tackle the Seattle Stair Climb, an athletic event that requires participants to raise money for leukemia research. Career firefighters and volunteers alike have also donned pink shirts and raised funds during breast cancer awareness month.

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