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Innisfil councillor launches fundraiser, 'inspired by Movember'

Coun. Ken Fowler already has a beard and moustache; he's willing to shave them off to benefit a good cause
Counc. Kenneth Fowler and son Gabe at last year's Pie Eating Contest at the Innisfil Farmers' Market. Miriam King/Bradford Today

November used to be a drab transition between the splendours of autumn, and the chill of winter.

Now it has a higher function. It is Movember.

Movember began as a month-long challenge to “Grow a Mo for a Bro” – urging men to grow a moustache to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer research.

It started in Australia, with a small group of friends. Movember has not only become a worldwide movement, it has expanded its fundraising and its focus to include all men’s health issues, from prostate and testicular cancer to mental health and suicide prevention.

This year, Movember has inspired Innisfil Ward 5 Councillor Ken Fowler to launch his own fundraising effort, to help families impacted by cancer.

“In the spirit of Movember,” he has decided to raise funds for Chai Lifeline Canada, an organization that assists the families of those facing serious medical challenges. For the past 15 years, the organization has provided critical care, programs, services and support for siblings, parents and children.

For Fowler, who lost his own father to cancer 20 years ago, and whose grandfather also died of cancer, it’s a vitally important charity.

"I've known a lot of people in my life who've had cancer," he says. Chai Lifeline "is there to support the family, the entire family," providing the strength and support to battle the disease.

Fowler already has both a beard and moustache, so growing a moustache can't be part of his challenge. Instead, he has vowed to go the other way if he meets his fundraising goals.

In his Facebook page video (click here), Fowler explains that his goal is to raise money for Chai Lifeline Canada during Movember, one toonie at a time – “the price of one cup of coffee, in a month,” he says.

If the fundraising reaches $250, Fowler will shave his head.

But there’s more: “If I raise $500, I’m putting the clippers in my kid’s hands and letting him go wild live on Facebook,” he says. His son Gabe is nine. “That has to be worth a cup of coffee, right?”

And if by chance the total reaches $1,000, he's promised to shave off both the beard and moustache. 

"My son is almost 10 years old, and he's never seen me without facial hair," Fowler says. "If we go to $1,000, I'll shave it off."

After all, it's for a good cause. "Cancer is a very serious topic," Fowler notes, "but if we can add a little bit of levity we can get people to talk, and open a discussion.

"Everybody wins."

To reach Fowler’s donation page on Chai Lifeline Canada, click here.

So far, just days into the month, he has raised over $100.

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Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
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