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Merritt Bench Elementary School was abuzz with facial fuzz last month after a group of Grade 6 students outfitted the whole school with moustaches.
Madeline McIntyre-Ponsioen, Logan Moorhead, Emily Whitecross and Olivia Boven sold the moustaches at recess and lunch for a minimum donation of $0.75. By the time they’d sold out of moustaches, the girls raised $150 for the Movember campaign — and with a school consisting of about 150 staff and students, Grade 6/7 teacher Murray Moorhead said the fundraiser was a success for the school.
“They understood what the whole process of men with moustaches was, but to come up with a fundraiser on their own and how to do it and everything... I was really proud of them for getting it all together,” said Moorhead, whose daughter was one of the girls behind the whiskers. “Two of them came up with it, and the other two helped them with it. The only thing I did was front the money to go buy the moustaches.”
Men participating in the campaign start November clean-shaven and grow their best moustaches until the end of the month to raise money and awareness of male health issues, particularly prostate cancer and mental health issues.
The campaign started in Australia in 2003 and has since spread to 21 countries in five continents. Last year, the campaign raised $125.7 million worldwide for men’s health research. This year, with more donations still to be tallied, Canada has raised $36.8 million, which puts it in the lead for most money raised for the second year in a row, according to a press release from Dec. 3. Moorhead said as far as he knows, it’s the first time the Movember cause has been taken up at the elementary school, and it was such a hit that the girls were almost sold out by the end of their first recess selling.
“The lineup was across the playground,” he said.
Moorhead, who registered with the charity and grew a ’stache for the month, entered the $150 donation from the school.
Then, at the monthly school assembly, the girls were recognized for their fundraising, and everybody wore their moustache for a school photo.
“We stuck them on with tape and we took a picture with all our school in moustaches,” Moorhead said. “The kindergarten kids were really funny. It was a fun day.”