Steel workers at Monster Industries were working out in the cold last week to expand their workshop, but most kept a warm upper lip.
It’s the thick end of “Movember.”
Owner Kyle Thomson says the guys at Monster are proud to join in the annual moustache tradition, which raises funds for prostate cancer.
Monster moustaches raised $1,500 in donations last year, and Thomson said they are raising the bar for 2011.
“Monster is matching, dollar for dollar, up to $5,000,” he said.
As of last Tuesday, the guys had already raised more than $2,000 in donations, putting them halfway to their total matched goal of $10,000.
Anyone who donates the $20 minimum gets a chance to win a return trip for two to Vancouver, he said.
Thomson said all the money raised will go to Kordyban Lodge, a 36-bed home-away-from-home for people who have to travel to Prince George for cancer treatment.
With so many men on his staff, Thomson said his top reason for supporting Movember is because it’s likely to affect people he knows.
“We have over 35 guys working with us, so that means something like five of us are going to have some sort of an issue with it,” he said. “It makes sense.”
Prostate cancer, the most common cancer among Canadian men, will be diagnosed in about 25,500 people this year, according to statistics from the Canadian Cancer Society. Just over four thousand will die from it.
To put those numbers in perspective, that means one in seven men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime (the risk is highest after age 60), and one in 28 will die of it.
Thomson said his father, Ken Thomson, has already beaten prostate cancer, and he knows of several other guys in Houston who have faced the same diagnosis.
“Some of them have recovered, some are in rough shape,” he said.
Thomson also said he’s got his own, lighter reasons to grow a ‘mo.
“I love moustaches. I grew them before Movemeber came,” he said. “I figure I might as well get paid for growing a moustache and tell everybody who works for me to grow a moustache so I’m not the only one.”
Due to open in late 2012, Kordyban includes a library, exercise, family and spiritual rooms. It will also house support programs by the Canadian Cancer Society.
Lodge fundraising has already reached $8.5 million of the $10 million needed.
Anyone who wants to donate can do so online at cancerevents.kintera.org/monsterindustries.