Movember gains men’s support

It is Movember - a time when a moustache is a silent but obvious way to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer

Grow op: Robert Allaway

Like shrubbery that suddenly appears in an arid dessert, hair has sprouted on the faces of several normally clean-shaven Salmon Arm men.

It is Movember – a time when a moustache of any ilk is a silent but obvious way to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer – the number-one cancer among men.

Roger Parenteau, from Downtown Salmon Arm, calls Movember a good cause but one he wasn’t aware of until this year.

“It’s a mutually supportive guy thing that guys don’t normally do; we don’t seem to be big in the communication,” he says. “But when it gets down to life and death, then it’s time to start talking.”

Unlike some other Movember participants, Parenteau had his Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels measured by a simple blood test last year.

“There’s a big genetic component, you kinda need to hear about,” Parenteau says. “I want to be around for my kids.”

Optometrist Robert Allaway, who is sporting a new Fu Manchu, points the finger of blame in Parenteau’s direction.

“He’s the main reason I am doing this. My lip wanted to challenge his lip and I know my lip is superior to his lip,” he laughs, before noting in a serious tone that he has seen a lot of patients with a history of prostate cancer. “Unfortunately for men, it’s like grey hair and wrinkles – everybody’s gonna get it if they live long enough.”

At the RCMP detachment, a team of “Movemberites” is pitting moustache-growing abilities while raising funds, led by one of the younger constables.

“We’ve all paid an entry fee and there’s a looming punishment fee should you not be able to make it the full month,” says Staff Sgt. Kevin Keane, who, in his mid-40s knows two policemen, one 10 years older and another 10 years younger, who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“We’re just doing it because it’s for charity, it’s a good thing to do and within the detachment it raises morale. It’s nice to poke fun at each other.”

Keane says RCMP members get a thorough check-up every three years because they go into potentially dangerous sites such as grow-ops.

“They do a really good job of checking us from stem to stern.”

Another team effort is underway at Blue Canoe, where owner Al Boucher and three employees – James Williston, Ron MacKenzie and Brian Litwyn – have joined the challenge.

“We think it’s a good excuse to grow a moustache and it’s a good cause,” he says. “It creates good awareness when people ask you why you have that cheesy moustache.”

Pointing out that a family member is currently awaiting a diagnoses, Boucher says he has a more heightened awareness this year.

Customers have been filling a jar in his bakery and when the moustaches come off at the end of the month, the money will be going to the local branch of the Canadian Cancer Society.

Sporting hair on his upper lip, early-morning radio man Patrick Ryley says, “without your health, you don’t have wealth.”

He invites Movember participants, their significant others and friends to participate in the MOscars, an awards show and fundraiser for prostate cancer research, at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25 at the Hideaway Pub.


The MOscars will feature the Maritime Kitchen Party band, prizes for the best moustaches and a cover charge donation at the door.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Flooding prompts closure of parks along Shuswap and Mara lakes

Boaters asked to respect No Wake policy protecting properties along water

Back in play: Columbia Shuswap Regional District reopening playgrounds

Signs with reminders about COVID-19 regulations will be posted

RCMP seek to identify person of interest in Salmon Arm arson investigation

Police believe a June 4 residential garage fire was deliberately set

Salmon Arm demonstrators show unity with Black Lives Matter movement

Participants speak out against systemic racism and targeting of vulnerable populations

Revelstoke, North Okanagan RCMP team up to nab Alberta man, stolen BMW

Helicopter, dogs used in North Okanagan highway arrest

Second video of Kelowna RCMP arrest shows Mountie punching suspect at least 10 times

The officer involved in the incident has been reassigned to administrative duties

Youth advocacy group pulls out of Vernon Black Lives Matter protest

Earth Strike Vernon pulled its support after concerns raised about Kelowna, Vernon protests

‘I just felt I had to do something’: Vernon Black Lives Matter protest organizer

Young woman organizes peaceful protest to take place next week at Vernon courthouse

Woman injured as purse snatched downtown Vernon

Two young men were arrested following detailed statements from witnesses

First day back; attending elementary school amid COVID-19

“… Social connections are certainly important for kids,” said Penticton principal Dave Ritchie.

Hundreds of people gather at Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Almost 600 people are rallying in Stuart Park, downtown Kelowna

Okanagan’s Grand Chief Stewart Phillip appeals for living-donor kidney transplant

Okanagan Nation Alliance Grand Chief has chronic kidney disease

New video evidence in Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial shown in court

The defence closed its case following the playing of the video in court, marking the end of the evidentiary phase of the trial

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Most Read