ESTEVAN — Movember is an important fundraiser each year, as it looks to raise funds for the fight against prostate and testicular cancer, as well as boosting awareness about mental health issues and suicide prevention.
Marvin Blue is one of the long-time participants for Movember in Estevan. He has been part of the initiative since 2012.
“I’m extremely fortunate that people have supported me as much as I have over the years,” he said in an interview with the Mercury.
Blue started his involvement in 2012 because his cousin, the late Jay Pierson, had started fundraising for Movember in honour of Pierson’s father Jerry, who died from prostate cancer.
“He invited our cousins and our family to join a police team,” said Blue.
Now he’s fundraising on his own, but the support remains.
“Some years are a bit more involved and … more time is put into fundraising,” said Blue. “I’ve got a moustache that doesn’t usually show up in the first three weeks, so I’ve had to get creative with my photos, and that’s taken on a different life. It surprises me that people donate for some of the things I’ve taken photos with.”
Last year he raised $2,020, which Blue said is above normal. He has had some years in which he has exceeded $3,000 or even $4,000, and other years he has been around $250 or $500. In each of the past six or seven years, he has eclipsed $1,000.
With blonde hair, it takes a while for the moustache to become noticeable.
“The first couple of years, I’d take a selfie or some sort of picture like that, I’d document the moustache progress,” said Blue.
But then he would take a random, funny photo, such as him showing off the duster while not wearing pants, and he’d get $500 within a day or two. He would take another photo that wouldn’t yield results, so he’d try another photo without pants, and another $500 would roll in.
People might find his efforts humourous, and he hopes he made them laugh enough for them to donate money.
Blue said he’s grateful for any donation he received, and he hopes people will remember the causes associated with Movember.
“I’ve lost people to all of those, and I’m sure everybody knows somebody who has,” said Blue.
Several members of the Estevan Police Service will be fundraising for Movember once again this year, too.
The Donut Dusters 2.0 will be comprised of Sgts. Evan Handley, Tyler McMillen and Braden Lonsberry, and Const. Cole Hoover. Handley is the team captain.
The three sergeants have been part of a team together for multiple years, while Hoover is joining them for the first time. They adopted the Donut Dusters name for the first time last year.
Handley noted the EPS’s involvement with Movember started more than a decade ago through Jay Pierson, who was a long-time member of the EPS and was often the top Movember fundraiser in the community.
The EPS wants to continue Pierson’s legacy of Movember support.
“Jay was a very close friend to all of us at the service, and it’s especially very important to me to honour his legacy every year by growing my horrible moustache,” said Handley.
The EPS will have other members who won’t fundraise but will grow moustaches in support of the Donut Dusters.
“Whatever you do to help out men’s health and mental health, in any way, shape or form, is awesome,” Handley said.
The Donut Dusters raised over $3,000 as a team last year. Each year they want to improve upon the previous year’s total, so Handley hopes they can eclipse $3,000 once again.
If people want to donate, they can search for the team name or any of the individual member names, and then make a donation. Other people have sent Handley money and he has donated it in their name.
“We just want to support our ‘mo’ brothers and sisters all over Canada. It’s fun, I like to grow the moustache, even though it turns out horribly every year, but it’s just something to show our support and help honour Jay,” said Handley.