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Moustaches raise men's health awareness

By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Some of Lincoln’s firefighters have been questioned lately about their new facial hair. That’s because about half of the Lincoln Fire Department staff are sporting moustaches. It’s not a return to the 1980s but a way to spread the word about men’s health issues, according to Battalion Chief Mike Davis. November has become Movember, with “mo” being slang for moustache, Davis said. “Every October, we have the pink T-shirts we wear for breast-cancer awareness,” Davis said. “Movember is a benefit for men’s specific cancer and the funds that are generated benefit the Livestrong/Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.” In 2010, 65,000 men throughout the country participated in Movember, raising $7.5 million for Livestrong/Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Foundation, according to a Movember press release. Davis said the moustaches have been noticed by community members. When asked about their moustaches, firefighters are given an opportunity to talk about men’s health and the Movember cause. “When you explain why, people say that’s pretty cool,” Davis said. “A lot of people have done a lot of work marketing women’s health issues and this is drawing attention to men’s health.” So far, the team has raised $75 in donations, and Davis said, they are hoping to bring in $250 overall. Not everyone is happy with the moustaches. “A funny reoccurring theme is that everyone’s wives hate it,” Davis said. “My daughters are like, ‘Dad, that’s got to go.’” Firefighter TJ Thomas said his “wife reminds me Nov. 30 is nine or 10 days away,” and that the moustache is “hard to get used to.” The News Messenger asked Thomas why he is participating in Movember. “(Battalion) Chief Davis put out a challenge to the department to raise money for Movember,” Thomas said. Firefighter Adam Malbrough’s response was “absolutely” when asked if Movember was a good cause. It has caused a “bond with people in the department,” according to Malbrough. Malbrough said he participated in the moustache growing “to support team unity and the cause.” ************************************************** To donate money in the name of the Lincoln Fire Department, search "Team Lincoln Fire" on www.movember.com. ************************************************** The Lincoln News Messenger profiles a nonprofit organization every week. If you would like to see an organization featured, please call 774-7967 or e-mail stephanied@goldcountrymedia.com.