With winter frost all settled in, it’s a good time for the local male population to start nurturing some natural face warmers.
November has men around the world growing moustaches in celebration of Movember, an annual international fundraiser that supports research and awareness around prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
Const. Marcel Midlane of the Ucluelet RCMP is proudly wearing a prominent Movember moustache for the seventh time and said it’s a rewarding and important experience to participate in.
“It’s a fun way to help raise awareness for men’s health issues by actually showing something on your face that you’re supporting the cause,” he said.
“I think there’s a lot of health issues that men face that don’t get spoken about. A lot of it falls silent until it gets too far gone where they needed help and never got it.”
Midlane is the only member of the Ucluelet RCMP detachment to be participating in Movember this year and he hopes to raise at least $1,000 by month’s end.
“I know a lot of people are probably tapped out after fundraising all year, but this is still a great cause,” he said.
The popular local cop is coming off a hugely successful Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock experience earlier this year that saw him raise over $60,000 for paediatric cancer research and Camp Goodtimes, a weeklong trip for families battling cancer.
Tour de Rock is the largest of four Cops for Cancer bike rides in B.C. and the Tour de Rock team rides roughly 1,000 kilometres across Vancouver Island, visiting about 30 communities along the way, to drum up support and raise awareness.
“That was awesome,” Midlane said. “It was an amazing experience.”
He said the journey put the team face-to-face with families of cancer victims and survivors who explained what Cops for Cancer’s efforts have meant to them.
“There were times when we were all choking up and holding tears back or crying,” Midlane said.
“[Camp Goodtimes] helps those kids and helps those families, everywhere from family bonding to relationship-saving for some of the parents because going through these tough times for some of them just rips their family apart.”
He said he was proud to see his home community back him up in a big way when the Tour de Rock team rode into town for Ucluelet’s annual head-shave on Sept. 30.
“I can’t say, ‘Thank you’ enough to everybody who came out and supported us. This community is so amazing” he said.
“I think, by far, we had the most head shaves of any community when we stopped here and that says something about this town.
RCMP are only allowed to participate on the Tour de Rock team once in their careers, but Midlane said he plans to continue to support the event through future fundraising efforts.