By Melissa Heald
James Kelly is thinking outside the box when it comes to this year’s Movember campaign.
He’s a first-year performing arts foundation student at Holland College.
Kelly has created a campaign to raise money for Prostate Cancer Canada by growing more than just a moustache.
Kelly will grow full facial hair. The person who donates the most to his fundraising website gets to choose on Dec. 1 how he shaves and wears his facial hair. He’ll keep it that way for a week.
Movember is an annual fundraising campaign held in November. Men are encouraged to grow moustaches to help raise awareness for prostate cancer and men’s mental health.
In the past, Kelly has grown his facial hair for Movember, but he never raised money before. He became inspired by the ALS ice bucket challenge.
“It actually got me into wanting to donate to charities.”
He’s also doing it for personal reasons. He had an uncle who died from prostate cancer, said Kelly.
He isn’t bothered by the prospect of having odd-looking facial hair for a week.
“I’m in performing arts and I’m going to do a lot of things out of my comfort zone anyway, so walking around with some facial hair in a weird way is nothing to me.”
More than 1,000 people register each year in Charlottetown for Movember, said Mark Fisher, co-chairman of the Charlottetown campaign. He made the comment while he, along with fellow chair Al Douglas, stood outside Charlottetown’s city hall to raise a Made in Movember flag with Mayor Clifford Lee on a rainy Nov. 7.
Last year, they raised just under $100,000. The international campaign rises over a $140 million each year, said Fisher.
Their goal is more about getting people to sign up and to start a conversation about prostate cancer and men’s mental health, said Fisher.
They have seen a dip in participants, but this year there seem to be a lot of people taking part and seeing all the moustaches around town since the campaign began his really encouraged him, said Fisher
Although Nov. 1 is the official day when men shave and begin to grow the moustache for a month, Fisher still encourages people to sign up and start growing.
Kelly chose not to sign up on the official Movember website because he wanted to grow his full face. But all the proceeds go to Prostate Cancer Canada.
“I’m hoping for more awareness what Movember is for and how important it is.”