Embracing Movember to raise awareness

 By Kathy O'Reilly, North Island Eagle, November 25 2022

A Port Alice firefighter is going beyond growing a moustache for Movember. 

Movember is an annual event held during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide.

Since 2003, Movember has funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the world, challenging the status quo, shaking up men’s health research and transforming the way health services reach and support men.

At the Christmas Craft Fair in Port Alice Nov. 20, Greg Beatty was selling mustache-shaped shortbread and chocolate chip cookies to raise Movember funds and will also be walking from the Port Alice turn-off to the fire hall in Port Alice on Nov. 26 - a distance of 31 kilometres, with a 400-metre total elevation gain.

“I’m expecting it to take six to eight hours,” Beatty said. “I’m doing it with the fire department. I’m the deputy chief with the Port Alice Volunteer Fire Department,” he said.

“They’re supporting me with facilitating the equipment (that will be following him on his walk) and the safety (measures) all around it and I’m using that to propel the visibility of it.”

A fund-raising barbecue is also being held at the fire hall at noon on Nov. 26. For those interested in donating, Beatty has links on both his personal and the fire department’s Facebook pages, and he will also take cash donations.

People may also visit the Movember website and find the Port Alice Volunteer Fire Department My Mo Space to donate.

“I set the goal to raise $1,000 this year and currently I believe we are sitting at about $1,490 so we’ve far surpassed what I was hoping, and it just keeps going up,” he said.

Beatty is not only raising funds but awareness about men’s health through his Movember efforts.

Beatty struggles with mental health issues himself, “Depression, anxiety, I grew up with ADHD. I feel that men’s health concerns are very easily overlooked in our society,” he said.

“We face stigmas that we are just supposed to come through things and not seek help. So, I am trying to be the voice for the men in my circle, and my community, that it is not weak to reach out and ask for help should you need it, should you need any supports,” Beatty said.

“That’s why I grew attached to the Movember group – for the men’s suicide awareness and the different links that they provide for people. I find it a beneficial cause, and I’d just like to bring attention to them.” 

For more information visit ca.movember.com

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Photo — Kathy O'Reilly

Port Alice Fire Department Deputy Chief Greg Beatty will be walking from Highway 19/30 junction to the fire hall in Port Alice on Nov. 26 to raise funds for Movember.

Second annual Giving Tree program underway

North Island Eagle, November 25 2022

Better at Home is proud to present the second annual Giving Tree. 

Better at Home is a non-profit managed by the United Way of BC and offered to North island seniors by North Island Crisis & Counselling Centre, said Coordinator Ashlee Wall. 

“What started last year as a way for me to engage my clients as pandemic restrictions eased, and a way to ensure that local seniors and elders felt appreciated and connected to their communities, quickly became a fun, annual event,” Wall said. 

“The biggest problem we faced last year was having more people signed up to give a gift than we had people signed up to receive one. What a great problem to have.”

This year the registry is open to all seniors on the North Island. Any resident age 65 or older can register to receive a gift and any resident can register to give or deliver gifts in their community. 

Wrapped gifts can be dropped off at the Crisis Centre in Port Hardy, MUGZ 2.0 in McNeill, and the Port Alice, Woss and Sointula library branches.

The gifts will be collected, labelled and delivered to the recipient before Christmas. 

This event is open to anyone and everyone. You do not have to celebrate Christmas to take part. 

For more information call Ashlee Wall at 250-230-0757 or 250-949-8333.

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Photo — Kathy O'Reilly

Better at Home is proud to present the second annual Giving Tree.