The Movember moustache challenge was met by both the Prince Rupert RCMP and the Prince Rupert Fire Rescue (PRFR), with the boys in blue taking the lead on the growth of donations for the annual fundraising men’s health challenge.
November is the month chosen for the Movember campaign to raise awareness for men’s health issues such as colon cancer, prostate cancer, and mental health issues.
The Prince Rupert RCMP came out on top in the inaugural emergency services friendly competition by raising more than $6,464 from Nov. 1 to 3o. The firefighters raised $1,660.
The local moustachioed police officers raised the eight highest amount of all detachments across the country, Const. Brody Hemrich, media relations officer, told The Northern View.
“We were battling the big dogs like the Toronto police service and Edmonton police service,” he said.
However, the spirit of the challenge was not about who raised the most money.
“Even though we were the winners in the challenge, it’s awesome to see the two departments that are usually stereotypically put against each other come together and raise a bunch of money,” Hemrich said.
This was the first year the departments did the challenge as teams. Previously, members raised money for Movember individually.
“It was cool. It built a lot of camaraderie at our detachment,” Hemrich said, adding it was very inspiring to have so many friends and family donate.
The cause was especially fitting for first responders, Brody Bishop, firefighter, said, adding it’s all worthwhile because they are supporting a good cause.
“It’s good to see the support. The more guys that are doing it, especially in our career and in our position as firemen, it’s good to have that group support for men’s health,”
“We do lots of fundraising events for the community, but this was a month-long thing. So, it had a little bit more to do than just raising money. It was actually kind of fun to do this with the guys at the hall too and see each other in a different way,” Capt. Ralph Weick of PRFR, said.
At the end of the month, for all those involved, it was all about raising awareness more than money.
“At the end of it, if you ever need anybody to talk to, there’s always going to be someone around to listen to. So if you ever have any problems, talk it out,” Bishop said. “In our career, we see a lot of stuff too. So, we got to just spread that out and make sure it’s for men to get over that stigma. It’s okay to not be okay and to talk to people,” Bishop said.
Norman Galimski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View