The first rule of Movember is: you do talk about Movember.
Movember is the the month formerly known as November, before it was hijacked in 2003 and turned into a month where men grow hefty (and not so hefty) whiskers under their noses in support of fighting prostate cancer.
Once again this year local men have shaved their moustaches for the last time in 30 days on Nov. 1. Over the coming weeks, these moustached men will look to friends, family and the community at large to donate in order to help combat a disease that is expected to see more than 25,000 new cases this year in Canada.
Movember looks to individually organized teams to raise money, and one local team is organized by Estevan Police Service member Jay Pierson. This is Pierson's third year growing a moustache for the Movember campaign. His father, Jerry Pierson, passed away in 2007 after battling with prostate cancer for several years.
"I participate in Movember in memory of my dad, as well as to support the thousands of Canadian men who are diagnosed each year with prostate cancer," said Pierson.
The Canadian Cancer Society notes that across the country, there are 70 new diagnoses of prostate cancer each day and it is the most prominent cancer in Canadian men. Pierson said the campaign isn't just about raising funds but also about raising awareness of the disease. He said in an e-mail calling for people to join his team that "together we can change the face of men's health.
"By growing a mo for 30 days, we wear a constant reminder of the need to combat this deadly disease," he added.
Movember was first started in Australia in 2003 when a group of about 30 men got together to grow moustaches. Since then the movement has grown exponentially each year with more than one million participants and $176 million raised. Last year 119,000 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas (what participants are known as) raised more than $22 million.
As of Nov. 1, the local team Pierson is heading has 16 bros on the team but he is expecting a few more to join. The team is made up of members of the Estevan Police Service, Estevan Fire Rescue Services as well was some other local businessmen and community members.
"As well we have a couple of my buddies from Brandon and one from Las Vegas on our team. There has always been some good-natured banter amongst all of the participants," Pierson said.
Teams are encouraged to host parties at the end of the campaign, honouring the Man of Movember. Pierson said there isn't a party planned now, but it is something they can organize if there is enough interest from the participants.
As for the style of moustache, Pierson has a tried and tested trademark that he will champion again this year.
"I have grown what is commonly known as a trucker moustache the last two years and plan on doing the same again this year. It's a type of moustache that is quite noticeable."
That's the second rule of Movember: get noticed and spread the word. According to the official Movember website, there are really three rules dictating what type of moustaches are legal for the month: "there is to be no joining of the mo to sideburns, there is to be no joining of the handlebars and a small complimentary growth under the bottom lip is allowed," it says.
Anyone wishing to donate can check out the team's web page at http://mobro.coHOTFUZZESTEVAN