Aspengrove School students have launched a Movember campaign hoping to raise money and awareness about men’s health issues. Front row: Connor Reid, Jordan Gage and Devin Fawkes. Back row: Kayleigh Burford, Ashley Flesher and Cole Counsell. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)

Aspengrove School students have launched a Movember campaign hoping to raise money and awareness about men’s health issues. Front row: Connor Reid, Jordan Gage and Devin Fawkes. Back row: Kayleigh Burford, Ashley Flesher and Cole Counsell. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo students raise money, awareness about Movember

Aspengrove students selling moustache masks and promoting online fundraiser

Lantzville school students are on a mission to educate and raise money during Movember.

A group of Aspengrove School Grade 12 students has organized a fundraiser, running until Nov. 30, in an effort to increase awareness among their school mates about Movember-related causes, such as prevention of suicide and testicular and prostate cancers and toxic masculinity and men’s health. They will create videos to educate the student body, sell face masks with moustaches on them, and challenge teachers and students to “grow out their ‘stache.”

Jordan Gage, an organizer, said the movement has been around for a long time, but not many in the school community knows what it is truly about.

“People are like, ‘oh, this month we grow some facial hair, ha, ha, it’s kind of funny,’ but we wanted to educate people on the reasoning behind it, the things they’re trying to help prevent,” said Gage. “They’re trying to bring down men’s suicide numbers, they’re trying to bring awareness to testicular and prostate cancer and bring awareness to men’s mental health as well.”

Cole Counsell, another organizer, agreed and said the videos will help better educate their peers.

“We’re talking about men’s mental health in one of them, and then talking about the cancer side of it, we’re talking a bit about that,” said Counsell. “We had to split up the information a bit by grade because obviously, we can’t really be talking about such serious topics with [younger grades] as much.”

The students ordered the masks online, using a design that fit the criteria for the Movember foundation, said Counsell.

“The nice thing about the design that we chose is … a lot of time, with younger men and boys, a lot of them can’t grow any facial hair,” said student Connor Reid.

When asked what aspect of Movember affects students at Aspengrove the most, Gage said it’s mental health.

“With Aspengrove covering a program such as [international baccalaureate] it’s quite demanding on students and it’s quite easy for students to get lost sometimes and overwhelmed and that can be the kick-start to someone’s mental health deteriorating,” said Gage. “Having someone or something there to help you can be helpful.”

Reid and Gage will be growing their own “mo” this month and said they look forward to it.

“I’m surprised as to how much it grew in one week,” said Gage. “I did it last year … it was pretty patchy. This year, it’s growing in better.”

“It’s been really interesting,” said Reid. “I had a talk with a gentleman coming home from work the other day and he was doing it as well … He commented something to me and the two of us had a very, very interesting conversation and we both expressed our gratitude to the program and belief in the cause.”

To donate to the students’ campaign, go to https://movember.com/t/aspengrove-school?mc=1. The group has a fundraising goal of $1,000.

READ ALSO: Aspengrove teacher talks back-to-school in COVID-19 times



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