Strutting their scruff

Area residents get behind global movement by using facial hair to get behind men's health issues

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Stacy Violett and Bob Nice of Black Mountain Software show off their beards (and awards).

If you feel as though your facial hair barometer has registered an uptick in mustache and beard growth among the general population this month, it isn’t your imagination. Those mustaches stand as a proud testament to the cultural phenomena known as “Movember” and the closely associated “No Shave November” movement that are sweeping the globe in an effort to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues.

Numerous area residents have observed the occasion, as well as entire businesses, as Black Mountain Software in Polson and St. Luke’s Community Healthcare of Ronan have both rallied to get behind the cause and have some fun in the process.

“It’s accomplishing what we want to do here - create awareness about men’s health,” said Fuchs, noting that the month’s focus encompasses the three specific areas of prostate and testicular cancer in addition to mental health issues.

The monthlong journey undertaken by certain St. Luke staff members will conclude on the day before Thanksgiving, when participants go before an “unbiased panel of female judges” to determine winners of superlatives such as “The Best Mo”, “The Baddest Mo”, “The Ugliest Mo”, and “The Longest Mo”.

At Black Mountain Software, distinguished “Movember” participants have already been recognized. Stacy Violett and Bob Nice were honored for “Best Facial Hair Growth” and the “Soft and Touchable Award”, respectively, although they said the company’s “Movember” spirit extended far beyond just themselves. Employees chose to donate money from the month’s activities specifically to prostate cancer research.

“It hits home for me, personally,” said Violett, who has a family history of prostate cancer. Amidst the lighthearted fun of the monthlong competition, he expressed hope that the overarching message about promoting awareness will sink in.

“We want to get the word out there,” said Violett.

“Early detection can be a large factor in having a successful bout with this form of cancer.”

Prostate cancer facts:

-In the U.S., one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

-If detected early, prostate cancer treatment can have a 97% success rate.

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