Vernon firefighters, 26 in total, are taking part in the Movember campaign. (VFRS photo)

Okanagan firefighters grow Mo’s

Raising funds and awareness for men’s physical and mental health

Vernon firefighters are joining the movement to raise funds and awareness for men’s physical and mental health. The annual Movember campaign begins Friday, Nov. 1, encouraging men to grow moustaches, raise funds and have important conversations in support of projects that focus on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.

This year, a team of 26 Vernon Fire Rescue Services (VFRS) firefighters will take part in the month-long campaign.

“Cancer research and programming assistance is important to our members,” said firefighter John Doorman. “Not only do we as firefighters have an increased risk from exposure to harmful chemicals, but many of our families and friends have personally been touched by cancer and its effects on lives.”

Movember was started in 2003 and has gained more than five million supporters worldwide. The Movember Foundation is the only global charity that is focused solely on men’s health.

“What we appreciate about the campaign,” said firefighter Dave Robinson, “is that it’s not just about cancer. It’s also about mental health and suicide prevention. It’s vital for all first responders to pay attention to mental health and have resources available to help when needed, but we also recognize mental health is important for every individual and the funds raised through Movember help support valuable programming when men find themselves in unimaginable circumstances.”

“We don’t just want to grow moustaches and raise money,” said Doorman. “We also want to have these important conversations and connect with those around us so everyone has a community of support when it’s needed.”

Donations for the local firefighter Movember team can be made at https://mobro.co/14036807​ or by visiting www.movember.com and searching for ‘Vernon Firefighters.’ Keep an eye on the City’s social media pages for updates on the participants’ moustaches and to see who can grow the best mo’ in just a few weeks.

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